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B B A
Introduction to the
Book of Zohar
VO LU M E T WO
THE SPIRITUAL SECRET OF KABBALAH
OF RAV YEHUDA ASHLAG
Commentary by Rav Michael Laitman PhD
B B A
Introduction to the
Book of Zohar
VO LU M E T WO
THE SPIRITUAL SECRET OF KABBALAH
OF RAV YEHUDA ASHLAG
Commentary by Rav Michael Laitman PhD
We wish to extend our gratitude
to the following people who made
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INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF ZOHAR
Copyright © 2005 by MICHAEL LAITMAN.
All rights reserved.
Published by Laitman Kabbalah Publishers,
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FIRST EDITION: MARCH 2005
............................................................. 302 ........................................ 91 Our Other Books ................................................... 301 How Contact Bnei Baruch ........................................ 299 About Bnei Baruch ................................................................ 13 Introduction to the Book of Zohar......................................................Introduction to the Book of Zohar VO LU M E T WO CONTENT Preface to the Book of Zohar ............................
"The Wisdom of Kabbalah" is an exhaustive text that the reader will certainly make a steady companion in his exploration of the Upper Worlds for many years to come. In this text. Enjoy! Talib Din. Baal HaSulam. This text comes with a brilliant commentary by Michael Laitman.TO THE READER F or many centuries. the reader will find that the English translation does not strictly follow the Hebrew text. Executive Editor Bnei Baruch May 16. a scientist and Kabbalist who received the Tradition from that illustrious chain that includes the Ari. .* the student will find a systematic. readers of the English language and serious students of Kabbalah have the opportunity to learn the Wisdom of Kabbalah from the 20th Century's greatest Kabbalist. Rabash. and his teacher. Baal HaSulam. Now. graduated exposition of Kabbalah unlike any treatment found in other available texts. the wisdom of Kabbalah was inaccessible to anyone who could not read Hebrew. for the first time in the history of the Western World. 2004 * As Rav Laitman did not translate the Hebrew text word for word.
Here you will discover secret. While publishing the manuscripts. Laitman told us about the attitude of his Teacher. This book was not written. to the manuscripts of his great father Baal HaSulam. We try to follow the advice of our teachers and make a point of leaving all the “mistakes” and “typos” uncorrected. we did our best to preserve the style and spirit of his classes and discussions. and prepare your soul. This is not a literary text. M. through the Kabbalist. Succumb to your sensations. The students of Rav Michael Laitman . M. the Creator reveals the Thought of Creation and His light. correct. for reception of the ultimate delight – merging with the Creator. nor is it a lecture on philosophy. Rabash. Rabash never allowed himself to make even a single correction of what might seem to be a mistake. the commentator on “The Book of Zohar”. In this way. let the Upper Light lead you. when he was preparing his Teacher’s notes for publication. While reading this book. said Rabash to his disciple Michael Laitman. your spiritual vessels. In one of his Saturday discourses. provided you treat it as a very special Kabbalistic text filled with profound meaning. you can join the community of beginning Kabbalists. Laitman acted in a similar way. to its last line it was orally shared with numerous members of the virtual group. deep layers of information about the Upper World. “What may now seem like a mistake will become clear when we ascend the higher spiritual level”.F O R E WO R D W hile working on a course of virtual lessons at the World Academy of Kabbalah that Michael Laitman teaches on the Internet. who gather in many places in the world to hear these classes.
Why is it “concealed behind a thousand locked gates”? In actual fact. It is not concealed behind any kind of external gate.PREFACE TO THE BOOK OF ZOHAR 1. By inwardly using his potential abilities. This is what they call a locked gate. “locked” from him. Hence it is said that the depth of wisdom is “concealed behind a thousand locked gates”. from his present state to the state of perfect infinity and merging with the Creator. a person just advances from one spiritual level to another. 13 . and then you will get inside. The depth of wisdom and learning contained in the Holy Book of Zohar is concealed behind a thousand locked gates. the next one remains concealed. All wisdom consists in the method of advancing in spiritual space. What can be done to open it? Transform yourself in accordance with the part you wish to enter. there is no key that can unlock the gates to enter where one may or may not be. everything exists within the framework of the natural laws of the creation. as long as the person is confined to one part. The spiritual world is completely open. In our world an object can be moved from one place to another by way of mechanical displacement. Everything exists within man. Unlike in this world. no one conceals anything. anyone can easily move in spiritual space. and leaves one realm to enter the next in accordance with the way he changes his own properties. It is pretty simple. whereas in the spiritual world we need to make an inner motion in order to pass from one part of the world to another.
but this initial tune up is quite sufficient for the book to begin affecting us in this way. This means that even if we take the smallest phrase from “The Zohar”. nor a sufficient means of expression for uncovering the full meaning of even a single sentence in “The Book of Zohar”. Therefore. This is the purpose of studying “The Book of Zohar” and the wisdom of Kabbalah as a whole. or sentence of the book. every word in the text includes inner levels of attainment of all the described actions and states. My explanations are only the rungs of a ladder. I intended to help the student attain the heights from which he may see and investigate what the Book itself expounds. can serve us neither as a suitable instrument. Depth of perception depends solely on the researcher’s level of attainment. He should only aspire for discovering some inner information concealed in the book. which seems quite clear to us. Every sentence. The structure of the commentary to “The Book of Zohar” resembles a ladder. By gradually developing our inner potential. That is all man can understand at this stage.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R All the locks and keys are within us. in this preface. by adapting ourselves to various spiritual laws and properties. and not the actions and phenomena that we perceive today. being poor and meager. This does not mean that the first volume of the book is intended for beginners and the last for the most advanced students. Carrying out inner actions correctly and opening the locks with our own inner keys is our method. I find it necessary to prepare the student interested in “The 14 . phrase. The text is composed in such a way that the reader gradually discovers an increasingly clearer picture. the interpretation of it will definitely depend on our level of attainment. we will begin to discover great depth in every word. Human language.
and four) are respectively called “the tip of the letter Yud”. to demonstrate how to study the book and learn from it. From the study of the four phases of development of the direct light. 2. In other words. “Hey”. we know that these phases (zero. and their derivatives. whether in the language of legends or tales. are entirely adequate for uncovering the essence of any object or learning. Just as the spoken language. and Tifferet). and “Hey”. two. to feel and control it. NHYM (Netzah. They make up the word HaVaYaH. the Creator’s ineffable name. one. one should be aware that every concept discussed in “The Book of Zohar”. “Vav”. and Bina). Hochma. HaGaT (Hessed. so too are the concepts and permutations of the Ten Sefirot sufficient to expose the entire wisdom contained in the spiritual universe. At the outset. Malchut). three. Stages 15 . Yesod. consisting of the 22 letters with their various permutations. eternal and perfect realm.e. to begin living not just within the limits of this world. but to enter a greater. concerns the Ten Sefirot: i. the goal of studying “The Zohar” is to attain the Upper World.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Zohar” by providing him with correct definitions. the letters “Yud”. Hod.. Gevura. KaHaB (Keter.
We then further divide the Sefira ZA into six the Sefirot Hesed. Hochma. Accordingly. partially used sub-Sefirot are quite sufficient to describe all possible states. mean? These symbols contain the information about the entire universe. If we describe them as Sefirot. but. Bina. We can only perceive what enters inside us. Netzah. rather. In our reality. Baal HaSulam says that the combinations of the Sefirot and their various. Zeir Anpin (ZA) and Malchut. the Creator’s name. the creation. there are three definitions. Partzuf We know nothing beyond that.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R What does HaVaYaH. they will correspond to Keter. Thus these Ten Sefirot are all that we have. is followed by the Sefirot-derivatives. which we need to understand properly. Gevura. and can penetrate its deeper form. Tifferet. we understand what it says. • Form in matter. they are not definitions. from Malchut to Keter. 3. the last of which is Malchut. the Creator’s attitude to the creation. actions. 16 . The rest happens to be their various interpretations. while the creation’s attitude to the Creator ascends in the opposite direction. When we dispose ourselves to “The Book of Zohar” through these three limitations. First definition (limitation). the Creator’s attitude to the creation descends from Keter to Malchut. and properties of everything that takes place between the Creator and the creation. • Abstract form. and • Essence. limitations. All that is included in the Ten Sefirot is called the Soul or the Partzuf. and call it our life. There exist four categories of knowledge called: • Matter. Hod. This is all we deal with. Keter. and Yesod. In fact.
These are the four degrees of inner attainment of any definition. For instance. the book discusses either the Form of the Sefirot or the Matter they contain. It is the same with regard to the Ten Sefirot. unconnected with a particular. a category. In general. something that constitutes the notion of a cup. matter and form in matter. When I speak of it without any reference to its shape or material it is made of. Form in Matter 17 . concrete object. a Kli for me. and matter are dressed on one another. abstract form. what is a glass or a cup? I speak about something abstract. we find that the essence. since the Form is the carrier of Matter. abstract form. object.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R If we move outside from within in our analysis. form in matter and matter (in the order they descend to this world). form. If we take essence. So this is the first of our limitations pertaining to the study of “The Zohar”. action. which has the form of a vessel (Hebrew: Kli). our attainment starts from matter and rises up. Rather. or property. I refer to its abstract form as a Kli. Then the essence follows. One must be aware that the Book of Zohar does not concern itself at all with such concepts as the Essence of the Sefirot or their Abstract Form. This is how we perceive any object in our world. here is my cup. Baal HaSulam says that “The Zohar” only speaks of the first two levels of attainment. The matter of which it is made is clay.
Otherwise.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R 4. the source of our life and betterment. It touches on the Worlds of Infinity and Atzilut only to the degree that the Worlds of BYA receive from them. The World of Atzilut is the World of our correction. “The Book of Zohar” does not concern itself with them at all. and • The Three Worlds called Beria. Everything existing in the Divine reality that is concerned with the creation of Souls and their forms of existence is conditioned by the following three states: • The World of Infinity. Form in matter 18 . The World of Infinity is absolutely divine and refers both to the state before the Tzimtzum Aleph and to the state of Final Correction. The Worlds of Infinity and Atzilut by themselves are of no interest to us. it represents the basis. Second definition (limitation). The Worlds of BYA are the realm in which we exist. What we do need to know is where we are and how these worlds can help us. Yetzira and Assiya. • The World of Atzilut. While being corrected itself. Yetzira and Assiya) and nothing else. Know that “The Book of Zohar” investigates only the Worlds of BYA (Beria.
the World of Infinity and Atzilut. Consequently. one element is inside another. through me. which exists. to the extent of our ability to communicate with these Ten Sefirot. and • The rest of reality. we perceive the light. Our mission is to go through 6000 years (levels) of correction. there are three aspects: • Ten Sefirot. The Ten Sefirot constitute the descending pure light in the form of gradually diminishing emanations. our approach to “The Zohar” should be purely practical. Nothing at all is said of what exists without being somehow connected with me. hence “The Book of Zohar” does not speak about it. We will attain it as well. dealing only with what concerns me in my matter and form. This is not our current task. acts. • The Souls. 5. Thus. The essence and abstract form refer to what is above our correction. There are Souls of two kinds: Upper and human. It only deals with what is attained in man’s Soul. after the Final Correction. This way. but never speaks of anything abstract.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R “The Book of Zohar” always speaks about a practical application of everything that we study. therefore “The Zohar” speaks only about this process. where we ascend after the Final Correction. Neither does it mention the Worlds of Infinity and Atzilut.” 19 . The Souls dressed on these Ten Sefirot exist within the reality that surrounds them. At a later stage we will understand the notion of “the Upper Souls. We should dispose ourselves so that the light it emanates can clearly indicate what we need to correct. rules and facilitates man’s correction. It describes me and. but later on. Third definition (limitation): In each of the Worlds of BYA.
Any other aspect that may be expounded or explained is done so only for the purpose of understanding what it is that Souls receive.” These are the inferior spiritual forces that surround the human Soul.e. the Upper Souls. Their names indicate resemblance to our world: “angels” are similar to animals. which concerns one aspect – the human Souls. but very close to him. • Not to pass beyond the framework of the human Souls.” and “palaces. “The Zohar” reveals and expounds only that.” “robes. robes. in similarity to our world. and completely ignores everything that pertains to the Ten Sefirot or surrounds the Soul (i. although “The Book of Zohar” meticulously explains every minute detail of every world… However. “The Book of Zohar” does not utter even a single word about anything that does not relate to Souls. “robes” are the forces that are external with regard to man. “palaces” are the forces that constitute man’s more remote surroundings. and palaces). • Not to pass beyond the framework of the worlds BYA. 20 ..P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R The rest of the surrounding reality is comprised of “angels. These three fundamental aspects serve as our point of departure: • Not to pass beyond the framework of matter and form in matter. In any case. one should know that. one should not deceive oneself thinking that everything is explained about all the worlds. angels.
and palaces. it exclusively studies the process of our correction. and establish contact with the book. Once we have corrected ourselves and attained the Upper Reality. with its help. Naturally. To this end. the worlds BYA. Thus. angels. “The Book of Zohar” has nothing to do with these issues. because it already means to possess the property of bestowal.. we will accurately receive its message through the channel that descends from it to us. Neither will it be able to attain what 21 . we will attain all additional knowledge about the abstract form. but has not yet achieved the necessary spiritual level. we correct matter and form in matter. we will understand correctly what “The Book of Zohar” wishes to provide us with. As long as this desire continues to remain egoistic. the essence. Every single word in it speaks exactly about it. “The Zohar” cannot tell us about all this until. i. the Worlds of Atzilut and Infinity. nor something that we do not need.” If the person wishes to reveal something about the abstract form and the essence. We will neither demand something that is absent in it. robes. and begin his research there. it will be unable to grasp anything above its own level. he will not be able to do that from the level of our world by way of philosophical reasoning.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R If we remain within the framework of these three limitations. the Ten Sefirot. In general. We will receive from it only what is necessary for our correction. Hence. “The Zohar” seems to be “concealed behind a thousand locked gates. the Upper Souls. he will have to reach the proper level in the World of Atzilut or the World of Infinity. in which our Souls exist.e. Only after the created desire is corrected will it be possible to say how it attains the higher spiritual levels. For example. if a person with a philosophical frame of mind tries to understand abstractly what is written in the book. it will not reach the level of the abstract form or the essence in the Worlds of Atzilut and Infinity. he will definitely fail.
because Keter represents the Creator.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R exists beyond the human Souls. The method of establishing contact with the Upper Source of correction is called Kabbalah. Bina. and Malchut. Hochma. Bina. then he just leafs through its pages being unaware of the great power that the book emanates. Tifferet. even the name Keter is omitted. Tifferet. You already know that the Ten Sefirot are called Hochma. i. Remember always that when we mention the Ten Sefirot. Hod. especially in the ten divine Sefirot. and Malchut. in order to be corrected. They are ten because Tifferet consists of six Sefirot called Hesed. Bina. Unless the person has this intention as regards “The Zohar”. Netzah. 6. in the pure light that emanates from the Creator. Keter. Gevura. “The Book of Zohar” is written is such a way that it can adequately and positively influence the person who wishes to receive its energy in the right way. Stages 22 .. It is attained from the four subsequent Sefirot: Hochma. and Yesod. All that it includes is given only for attuning oneself to the Upper Light. we mean HuBTuM. It is so focused that its light affects us only on condition that we aspire for correction and attainment of the Upper World. Tifferet. That is. Tifferet. As a rule.e. Malchut and their root.
red. and black. This is similar to the descending light: the moment it begins to create something. In our world these Sefirot create the four basic colors. but by a hook-like tip of the prospective letter “Yud”. red. while passing through a lens. This is similar to an optical instrument that has four lenses with colors corresponding to the ones mentioned above. • White corresponds to the Sefira of Hochma. and in the second – what it gives us. when we feel it inside our Kli. In spite of the fact that the light is unified. In “The Book of Zohar” these Ten Sefirot. green. So in the first case. green. it acquires a color and becomes one of the four lights: white. Stages 23 . we therefore pay no attention to it. • Red corresponds to the Sefira of Bina. In phase two we say that it bestows delight upon us. or black. • Green corresponds to the Sefira of Tifferet. are called by the names of four colors: white. HuBTuM. we speak of what the light is in itself. it turns into phase one. 7. We can speak about its property of bestowal. The light being unattainable by itself. and • Black corresponds to the Sefira of Malchut.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Keter is not even designated by a letter.
animal. However. simple and unified. and thus manifest before us. and Assiya. and human levels of nature. it (i. There is nothing like that in the light itself. This is because the Kli de Atzilut (vessel of Atzilut) is similar to the light itself. dress into various shells. they acquire different colors. The ten (innermost) Sefirot of the direct light have no color. the green light of Tifferet in the 24 . Each Kli (Sefira) is like a thin partition through which the light of the Creator passes. the Ten Sefirot) is completely colorless. This is achieved with the help of our inner Kelim.e. vegetative. This light is simple and unified. but when they pass through the worlds. absolutely amorphous light around us. from the Rosh (head) of the World of Atzilut to the Sof (end) of the World of Assiya. also called HuBTuM. the light of the World of Atzilut is defined as white light. We can describe the same in a different way. that the light becomes the red light of the Sefira Bina in the World of Beria. In actual fact. Consider. concerning the Kelim of the Worlds of Beria. There is only the simple. This is the secret of the World of Atzilut about which “The Book of Zohar” says: “He. the light that is found in each of the Sefirot is the light of the Creator. the light that is found in each of the Sefirot is the Creator’s light. and the light of the Creator does not suffer any changes while passing through it. However. This is the way each Kli (partition) imparts a different color to the passing light.. That is how we perceive this world. The differentiation of this light into the Sefirot HuBTuM happens in the Kelim (vessels). etc. Yetzira. Thus. in our inner properties we single out in it such pictures as the still. the light passing through them changes and darkens. the Light. and His Essence are One”. Thus.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Thus. for example. In accordance with this. the worlds. the Kli de Hochma of the World of Atzilut passes white light.
Yetzira. In addition to what was mentioned above. The Upper Lights are called “Sefer” (book). Hence. Although by themselves these properties are colorless. We can only grasp it after we include in ourselves all the existing colors and the immense variety of their combinations. and Assiya (as in Bina. i. It is attained from matter and the form in matter. from the Worlds of BYA. respectively. 25 . These very colors give us an idea of what Infinity. it means that the property of ZA is implied. the allegory of the four lights contains an additional important hint. after they intermix within our completely corrected Kelim.e. when we speak about the color green.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R World of Yetzira and the black light of Sefira Malchut in the World of Assiya. reveals itself. and Assiya. The wisdom contained in each book is not revealed to the student in the white color it contains… The light descending to us from the Creator carries its wisdom. 8. hence. and Malchut) are partially or completely uncorrected with regard to the light. ZA. through black. This wisdom is not attained from the clear. and we are at its level or receive through it. white color of the light of the Ten Sefirot. and perfection are.. from Malchut’s reaction to what descends from above. There are other Kelim already. the light assumes color. green. This happens because the Kelim in the Worlds of Beria. If “The Zohar” speaks of colors. we cannot grasp the colorless light of Keter or the simple light of Atzilut. For instance. we are totally unable to attain this achromatism. we can interpret them as the properties of the Sefirot. through our Souls. eternity. or from the essence. Yetzira. but attain them through the Worlds of Beria. and red colors.
The Worlds of Infinity and AK are the same with regard to us because all that is above Tzimtzum Bet and is not included in Tzimtzum Aleph is unattainable for us before the Final Correction. These three Sefirot. while the white color supports them. which are the three Worlds of BYA. where. 26 .. From this it follows that both worlds are included into the notion of the World of Infinity. do we first come to color white. They seem to be stuck to it. We perceive the white color even through its absence. As a result. The World of Adam Kadmon (AK (AK AK)) is Keter. the letters pass us their wisdom. the black letters stand out against its background. black. we read not the letters themselves. The letters and their permutations are revealed through the three colors mentioned above. and red shapes. We reveal everything through the Sefirot Bina. by violating its absolute whiteness. because we are created beings and perceive everything out of our deficiencies (Hesronot). In other words. Only from absolute attainment. green. are the colors in which the Book of Heaven is written. all the letters are “wedded” to it. the letters that we read. as we see. but the deviations we introduce into the light. Moreover. and Malchut. Tifferet and Malchut. Since the page of a book is white. The revelation of Divine light is mediated only through them.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Each of these colors takes its own place in the Kelim. we do not attain the color white. as a result of absorbing the entire palette of colors. We only attain the World of Atzilut through the Worlds of BYA because it is a form corrected by Tzimtzum Bet. While the white color in a book is its foundation. and Assiya correspond to Bina. Beria. In other words. and then to absolute achromatism. i. but the Kli. desires. we must discern the following. the light is absent. All wisdom is in the World of Atzilut because Atzilut is the World of Hochma. we perceive not the color. Yetzira.e. ZA. By concealing the white color of the page.
If the three Worlds of BYA receive luminescence from the World of Atzilut while in their place.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R 9. We can freely move within the Worlds of BYA: from Assiya to Yetzira to Beria. the Worlds of BYA (with the Souls in them) rise above the Parsa to the place of the Sefirot Bina. i. Our Souls can move provided they transform their inner properties. That is.e. colors and their permutations are determined by our coordinates in the Worlds of Beria. “The Zohar” says that we attain the World of Atzilut as white and its luminescence as letters against a white background in the three Worlds of BYA. receive the light. These three worlds are the colors. The Soul rises to the level to which its inner properties correspond. Tifferet. As the light of Infinity passes through the World of Atzilut and enters the Worlds of BYA. The light that passes from Atzilut to the Worlds of BYA is called “Ohr de Tolada” (light of birth).e.. Yetzira. we can be in and receive the light in them. then it becomes merely the luminescence of the Kelim de Atzilut. the World of Atzilut is a mount. where it shines. Otherwise. and Malchut of Atzilut. when the light is diminished many times over while passing through the Parsa under the World of Atzilut. i. This is manifested in two ways: if the three Worlds of BYA receive the light of Atzilut in their place (under the Parsa). as in a book. and Assiya.. or we can rise to Atzilut and receive the light there. 27 . That is. microscopic luminescence in comparison with the light in the World of Atzilut. and “clothe” the World of Atzilut. and even to Atzilut. while all the letters. the letters and their permutations. the Kelim of the World of Atzilut slightly shine in the Worlds of BYA.
P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R In this case. they certainly receive the light of Atzilut.. Together with the Worlds of BYA we will ascend to the World of Atzilut and receive the light that is there. because the book of wisdom of this world consists of a white background and the color of the letters in which there is no spirit (Ruach) of life. but outside of them. The revelation of wisdom (in our sensations) is not within their essence. I advise you to look at it closely. angels. Actually. 10. reveals the forces that govern not our tiny world. the Upper Souls. Naturally. being similar to letters. the allegory about the World of Atzilut is as a white page. this example fails to express such sensations. All the same. in the intellect of the one studying them. feels new spiritual universes. First. we need to enter into the Worlds of BYA. and force all the Worlds of BYA to rise to Atzilut. this allegory does not completely reflect the essence. 28 . and the function of the other three colors is to manifest it. not outside us in some book. As we ascend from the Worlds of BYA to the World of Atzilut and attain the heavenly wisdom. palaces. Why is it so? Baal HaSulam says: …because the book of wisdom of this world consists of a white background and the color of the letters in which there is no spirit of life. but turns into reality that permeates and surrounds us as a result of our inner changes. one must be aware that the color white contained in the book is a subject of study in and of itself. In accordance with this. reach their highest point in the World of Beria. it exists not on paper. get as close to the Parsa as possible. is pretty lifeless. i.e. effervescent life. but the immense universe. It does not convey the vast breathtaking picture that man attains when he enters into these worlds. He discovers a wonderful. and the attainment in the Worlds of BYA. This is a very important sentence.
configure our inner forces. we attain through them the white background. Only by joining our forces and desires will we be able to fulfill this great mission. we attain not the colors of Beria. from phrase to phrase in the books recommended by Kabbalists. By reading a book in the spiritual world. but the white background of Atzilut. absolute wisdom. we adapt the letters within ourselves and build our inner properties. It should always be borne in mind that there are four categories of knowledge. There are many of us. we reach a state where we transcend the limits of matter and the form in matter. By creating these letters within ourselves. Thus we create one common Kli of such enormity that. in our knowledge. The earthly wisdom is concentrated in our inner Kelim. This is the difference between the attainment of spiritual and earthly wisdom.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Here I would like to remind you that we are one group that exists for the sake of achieving one Goal. we inwardly perform spiritual actions. the level of Hochma. from word to word. Yetzira. namely: 29 . to the extent of similarity of our inner Kelim to the properties of light. While passing from letter to letter. and we wish to help each other. which were mentioned above.e. then each of us frees himself from an existence inside a closed shell. While reading books in this world only. In other words. in the first limitation. 11. and begin attaining the abstract form – something that is completely inapprehensible in our world. and Assiya.. whereas the spiritual wisdom enables us to attain the light in our sensations. i. and define the combinations of our Sefirot. while passing through the Worlds of BYA to Atzilut. Baal HaSulam writes that when we combine our efforts and aspirations. we attain the wisdom contained in the letters.
it is possible to comprehend an abstract form of falsehood irrespective of the matter of a person and study these three forms as such. For example. it means the body. is quite impossible to perceive without his material embodiment.e. truthful or false (let us say a liar). or “truthful person”. as such. without their being manifested in any matter or body. as discussed in the first Form in Matter 30 . i. Know that the essence of a person. i. strong.e.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R • Matter. I will explain them first using actual examples from this world. • Form in matter. to discern their merits or baseness. we discern between the following: • The matter the person consists of. it is possible to investigate the qualities of strength. when they are abstracted from any matter at all • The essence (of falsehood) 12. truthfulness or falsehood. In other words. when we say a: “strong person”. and • Essence. • Abstract form.. • The abstract form.. • The form into which this matter is shaped. the body. Matter is the fourth stage.. i..e. or “liar” etc. so if we speak about a person.
reflected under the influence of a sound wave. • Our sense of smell is the irritation of our nerve receptors reacting to smells. We can more or less abstractly attain whatever derives from it. but not of the essence itself. I know nothing about the source of the sound. When I am looking at an object. They return to me and create a certain form in my perception. but not of the essence itself. • Our hearing is simply the power of influence of sound waves. but not the essence itself. exerts pressure on the membrane of the eardrum.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R limitation. Everything depends on our nerve receptors and on how they transmit to us this or that smell. I only perceive it as waves that it reflects. I can only judge it by the way I perceive it. by the air emanating from the essence. This air. … because our five senses and our imagination do not offer us anything more than the revelation of the actions of the essence. That is. according to the light it reflects. we do not perceive the essence. That is. This is because our five senses and our imagination do not offer us anything more than the revelation of the actions of the essence. I do not know what it really is. 31 . This is how we are able to hear that something is near us. which is purely divine. I have no clue as to what it is by itself. The sound comes from something beyond me. For example: • Our vision perceives only the waves from the essence of what we see. transmitted through the air from some essence. and this is how we sense a smell.
firm and soft. his “I”. if one of our senses is damaged or some of our faculties are defective. as we have just noted. because we cannot possibly imagine anything existing beyond us. It never reveals the essence itself. these too are only the manifestations of the essence. However. which is able to discern between hot and cold. we perceive not what enters inside. then our perception of the world will be rather distorted as compared to the normal one. Naturally. Moreover. which somehow pass the electrical signals to our brain. That is we selectively perceive the reaction of our senses to some external influence. our five senses. is nothing but the revelation of actions within an essence. resembles a black box with five points of entry. Concerning the ideal picture. the sense of touch. These four senses offer us nothing but the revelation of actions emanating from some essence.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R • Our sense of taste is only a derivative from a contact between some essence and our gustatory receptors. I have said on numerous occasions that the person. We can imagine the abstract form. It is possible to cool down something hot or warm 32 . Hence it is utterly impossible to speak about the essence. we have no way of knowing anything. We perceive only that which enters through them from outside. yet it is unknown whether we can do that correctly. Even our strongest sense. but what is detected by special membranes positioned at the entry (it is unclear how this external influence reaches us considering our inner limitations).
hot. that I think. we should reach the higher worlds where the white light really exists.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R up something cold. It is as clear as a sunny day that our five senses will not reveal to us any essence at all. Moreover. Yetzira. It is possible to melt something solid into a liquid. smell. and Beria are black. Here Baal HaSulam stresses that without correcting our inner sensations and rising to the Upper Worlds the person has no opportunity to attain spirituality. We will never be able to perceive something that is outside or above us. that I am solid. we do not even have the ability to perceive our own essence. we will not attain the Creator. green and red respectively. Nevertheless. and taste . All of these are the result of 33 .touch. Baal HaSulam means that without ascending through the Worlds of BYA to the Worlds of Atzilut and Infinity in our senses. we will attain what this background really is. and so on. The lights in the Worlds of Assiya.nor the Ten Sefirot in the Worlds of BYA will give us anything. sight. Neither our five natural senses . It is possible to evaporate a liquid and bring it to a gaseous state so that it would become impossible to sense it with the help of our five senses. If we wish to attain the Upper categories that are beyond us. the essence is preserved and we can again transform the gas (a totally imperceptible state of some essence) into a liquid or bring the liquid to a solid state. but only instances of manifestation of the essence’s actions. I feel and know that I occupy a certain volume in this world. hearing. When all of them combined enable us to feel how they stand out against the white background of Atzilut.
we do not desire it. manifestations of the action of any essence. We are fully capable of comprehending Matter. That is. In the same way. and the revelation of matter is quite sufficient for us. That is the way we are created. My brain is designed in such a way that I prefer to work with five fingers. if someone were to ask me “What is the essence from which all these manifestations emanate?” I would not know how to answer. Zeir Anpin. We only attain the manifestations and mode of action originating from the essence. 13. How correctly can we perceive each of these categories? It is quite possible that such awareness can help me make up for the lack of knowledge. we have no questions left. i. However. which we discussed in the first limitation. Knowing exactly what I do not know can assist me to get my bearings and avoid errors. we are so created that we feel little necessity for it. Matter reveals the actions of any essence. including our demands for the sensation of matter.e. and Hochma. But by and large.. Moreover. It completely satisfies all our needs and desires. That is. our needs will develop and grow. and absorb the universe at this level. 34 . Bina. let alone the Upper Worlds. until we reach the level where the essence manifests. The lowest level of attainment is the attainment of matter. feel. After all. This explains why we do not suffer at all from the lack of any possibility to perceive the essence itself. As we begin to ascend.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R manifestations that influence my essence. Our attainment is graduated: Malchut. when we attain. Supervision prevents us from attaining the essence. I am created so that five digits are absolutely sufficient for me. we do not feel the need for a sixth digit on our hand. Now he explains to what extent different levels of attainment are accessible to us. we cannot attain ourselves.
one-sided. so I will clearly feel and perceive Him. we perceive it within a very limited. and twisted range of sensations. feels the insignificance of lower categories. we feel quite satisfied with our attainments. Nature has not provided me with any technique for such work. We. both in the attainment of our own essence and in the attainment of any external one. longs for the infinite sensation of an endless diversity of colors. we would be able to perceive absolutely all outside influences. What does it mean that I perceive something which is outside me? The Creator is outside me. I may dispense with a smaller number. In other words. seem to have no problem. and all-encompassing knowledge. white. If we only live within its limits. He wants to acquire thousands of digits-tentacles. So we have no problem with anything that concerns matter. 35 . is sufficient for all our requirements and investigations. and think of his overwhelming aspiration to extend the ability of his senses ad infinitum. and happily agree to live with our five little fingers. while at the same time letting us understand that by having more diverse Kelim we could perceive a much greater world than what our five senses can pick in a rather warped way. absolute. But imagine a Kabbalist. who attains higher forms. Larger aspirations appear under the influence of the Upper Light. I cannot even imagine what I will do with an additional digit.. I am totally unprepared to work with six or seven fingers. Were we designed so that everything could penetrate us without any resistance from us.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R although. It generates in us more and more new needs.e. the comprehension of matter. Let us imagine that some outside influence enters into us unobstructed. However. if necessary. until all of it merges in simple. somehow compensating for the deficiency. i. the manifestation of the essence’s actions. however. When something takes place outside us.
36 . the Ten Sefirot of the direct. and through these colors perceive the higher light.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R This will become possible if I eliminate all barriers standing in the way of all incoming information. and white. and red. green. If I move from the color black to green. They work as membranes letting information inside only within their limited range.e.. or perhaps. I will be able to feel what is inside them. which will enter me unimpeded. I will then be able to ascend to the World of Atzilut. This happens because through these undistorted colors that enter into me. How is it going to happen? I will not be able to open additional apertures in my “black box”. pure light. i. followed by the Creator’s achromatism. twenty new senses. red. then I will acquire two. But I need not do that – the sensation of the color white will enter me through my perception of black. in addition to my natural five.
we should know exactly what we wish to achieve. and the essence. We should be careful not to imagine abstract forms. Another question is whether we can operate with the abstract form. It is even more so when it concerns the completely unattainable essence. We have also said that matter and the form in matter are entirely sufficient to safeguard us against mistakes. “The Zohar” deals with just two kinds of attainment. They will tell you about various forces they see. we attain it as matter.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R As a result. the black box. Being beyond our power and clear sensations. we attain the form in matter. what we need to hold on to in order to avoid errors on our path. Why are we studying it? When we look for contact with the Creator. the form that matter takes. We have spoken about four kinds of attainment. 37 . we see that even without getting out of the Kli itself. and the essence through the matter of form. the abstract form. When we delve into some material. about their previous incarnations and special messages received from above. The Zohar descends from the highest point of Atzilut. Therefore. through it. it can be misinterpreted and misleading. “The Book of Zohar” teaches us how to adapt ourselves to the Upper Radiance. In order to bring us to the World of Atzilut. and. In other words. the essence in the World of Infinity. This is a totally wrong interpretation of the abstract form. As a rule. hence its name “radiance”. “The Book of Zohar” explains how we can perceive all spiritual information by changing our inner parameters. about images and angels. we attain the absolute form. this happens to people who seem to be very “spiritual”. the abstract form. everything depends only on how it is tuned up. After reaching the World of Atzilut and the state of Gmar Tikkun. both within and without us. “The Zohar” positively forbids delving into abstract forms.
towards the right goal. overall. and that all the Upper knowledge we acquire at the higher levels is true and clear to us. there always exist an “I” located at some point. I direct myself toward it. whereas the form in matter is something we attain as a result of penetrating matter itself. Thus. then we unfailingly move in the right direction.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R and calls upon the person to remain within the limits of matter and its form. I do not imagine how I can see this goal. there are 125 of them. 38 . That is. matter is what our senses perceive. some path. how I can depict it to myself. and some goal. 14. whereas I have no idea about the quality of the goal. Baal HaSulam says that we attain the form in matter absolutely. The goal possesses a certain quality that is very different from “I”. for we do so based on the experience of concrete actions that we derive from matter’s response. That is. While seeing the goal before me. This concerns the distinction between just two levels. If we move anywhere in this world. they are of no help to me at this stage. We also comprehend the form in matter that is described in the second restriction in an absolutely clear and satisfactory way. If we advance along this path of attainment to ever higher forms of matter without abstracting the form from matter. “I” represents one of my qualities. we acquire all of the sublime knowledge that one can indeed rely on. I do not direct myself with the help of my senses. whereas.
aspire to become a professor. I cannot say that I feel something spiritual until I acquire a minimal screen. In Kabbalah. see it. He asserts that even when we watch something and then divert our attention from the observed object or phenomenon. I imagine only the abstract form. This means that. there is no way to imagine all that. only from the form of this matter do we acquire all of the sublime knowledge that one can indeed rely on. angels and supernatural forces). he says: “Thus. In our world I may. and are unperceived by our sensations. Therefore. after the form reveals itself to us in matter. Only having done that will I be able to perceive spiritual objects and properties within it.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R So how can I imagine it. I will immediately fall into delusion and my subsequent advancement will increasingly deviate from the goal. break through this barrier? What should my first step be and toward what goal? I cannot imagine what I want to be. They will be considered the acquired form of this matter because the form will be determined by the screen. Hence “The Zohar” instructs the person seeking spirituality to be extremely careful with forms that are detached from matter.” In the process of studying “The Book of Zohar” we will be repeatedly emphasizing this problem. instead of matter and the form it assumes. The third restriction is abstract form. 15. we imagine it in an abstract 39 .g. which assumes a certain form. however. and clearly know what it is like. I create this image in myself. for example. the power of our imagination allows us to detach it completely from matter. So if. The screen displays for us various properties and their combinations out of matter. Here Baal HaSulam does not speak about absolute abstractions that we have never seen before (e. how can I elevate myself.
does not understand that in fact the abstract category of truth turns into its opposite. you will first have to assume those properties. properties) from matter. stating that we neither have the right to accept abstract form as absolute knowledge. from that for which sake it actually exists. There are many idealists who abstract some category from real life and from man. heroism. for it is impossible to rely upon it with 100% assurance. One can observe abstractly or detached from any kind of matter. We endow such abstract form with virtues or flaws. Today. anger. to see that. falsehood. for example. Know that serious scientists regard the third restriction with the utmost caution. if the entire world should perish.e. For example. a non-religious idealist who praises the abstract category of truth can conclude that he would not intentionally utter an untrue word. However. and place it above all. we have in mind their abstract form. nor rely on it. virtues and laudable qualities that books on moral subjects speak about. This is because it is easy to err in something that is detached from matter. i. If you combine one with the other. not even for the sake of saving people’s lives. free from any matter whatsoever. The Torah forbids it in its laws. When we touch upon qualities of truth. who is ready to sacrifice the world. Such a truth-loving person. 40 . We should not abstractly imagine something which previously had a form. In other words. they detach a category from the matter in which it is clothed.. all contradictions will vanish.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R form. how can such a highly spiritual person have any unspiritual qualities? Where does this incomprehension emerge from? The reason lies in the separation of form (qualities. in particular. falsehood.. I was asked: “How could such a Kabbalist as Rabbi Shimon be angry?” That is. etc.
which says:" Nothing is above saving a Soul”. we see that they do not exist. 41 . on no account should we use any abstract notions nor set any abstract rules pertaining to the spiritual world. Later on. He would then come to an agreement that there is no value higher than truthfulness. he would perceive the great benefit to those that uphold the truth and those who observe the rule of speaking only the truth.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R But this is contrary to the opinion of Torah. otherwise we will delude ourselves and never reach it.e. when we define for ourselves some ideals. even if it delivers one human life from death. we need to accept this limitation in advance. Moreover. We have no right to reason about the upper level from our present viewpoint. he would see the multitude of victims and losses that liars and their untruths cause. Then. Thus we can only speak of matter and the form this matter assumes. and in most cases. Hence. had he examined truth and falsehood when they are cast into matter. they acquire an unexpected. i. Indeed. If an idealist understood this. the next level has never been clothed in any concrete form before. having conducted numerous experiments in the world. and nothing lowlier than falsehood. is immeasurably greater in value and importance than any abstract truth. It is because abstract categories that belong to the third restriction absolutely lack clarity. he would judge these categories according to the right. or wrong they give rise to in matter. It is not worth discussing abstract forms that have not yet materialized in this world. this is but a waste of time. very unappealing form. even if you are compelled to lie. he would certainly agree with the opinion of Torah and accept that a falsehood. There are certain periods in our life. unpredictable.. as we face them in real life. and as soon as these ideals dress into matter. We have no idea what the spiritual world is like.
• Studying the third category can lead to fallacy. Now that we have thoroughly explained these four categories with simple examples. toward physical sensation of the spiritual. Kabbalah urges us to dress our matter (will to receive) into the proper form (will to bestow). without detaching one from the other. we lack any possibility of grasping the fourth category. but in this case all our reasoning turns into empty philosophy. If I now abstract one from the other.e. our initial egoism (will to receive) assumes the form of bestowal (altruism). intention for the sake of the Creator. and. This will be called my spiritual world. i. By compelling us to remain connected with matter even though we may be studying a form. It warns us against engaging in abstract.. That is. form in matter. but it will be a pure fantasy. is there for our clear and sufficient attainment of the Upper Providence. this means that we enter into the Upper World’s existence. as well as the second kind – form cast in matter.e. Most probably I will feel great while soaring in my imagination. 16. • Only the first kind of knowledge – matter. abstract form and essence… The author stops short of discussing the essence here because there is no point in talking about something imperceptible. which is essence. 42 . I would exist in them. i. imaginary actions. If our matter. We may abstractly reason about the essence without knowing what it is. it is clear that: • In principle. the screen’s different forms dressed on my desires should create in me various spiritual images. and at the same time it instructs us to feel the spiritual forms which our own matter will assume. Now that we have thoroughly explained these four categories – matter.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R What other positive conclusion follows from this? Kabbalah pushes us toward matter.. I will imagine myself in the spiritual worlds today.
“matter”. we will feel in it the Kelim of the color red.. In other words. This is the second way of attainment. or a “vessel”. which assumes different forms. Baal HaSulam says that if we take any of our attainments. Bina is red. The light of the Creator “dressing” and passing through the color red represents a form that is “dressed” onto the essence. one can also grasp the reality of the spiritual levels of the Upper Worlds of ABYA. 43 . whose light translates to those existing in the World of Beria. while passing through the Kelim of the World of Beria (i. and Malchut or Assiya is black. If it is in the World of Beria. That is. the body and matter of the red color. For instance. a “body”. This refers to the first way of attainment. Hochma is white. The vessels of the World of Beria that have the color red represent a form that is “dressed” onto an essence.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R With their help. the colorless light is perceived as red. we attain ungraspable essence as matter. filters). meaning a detail and manifestation of the actions of the essence. there exists matter and there are levels that are perceived by this matter. every component in the World of Beria has its red colored vessel… The World of Beria is all red (Bina). We call such a manifestation “essence”. That is. That is why it appears as a red light that points to it being “dressed” and emanating through the essence. ZA or Yetzira is green.e. we shall never be able to grasp the essence itself. Although it is but a color. What is “red” in the spiritual? In our world the branch of this root corresponds to the color red. sensations in the World of Beria. it assumes the color red. through my own properties. that is. only the manifestation of its actions. Even the smallest component will fall into these four categories.
or if he begins to study the light alone.. I cannot speak of the Creator. this belongs to the third way of attainment. equal with Him. it will be utterly abstracted from reality. Only from within my own corrected Kelim can I speak about similarity to the Creator. if we only speak about the abstract category of “kindness”. I will be ready to sacrifice all humankind for the sake of preserving this category. Why is this possible? The fact is that we consist of a huge Kli. but only about my properties that are similar to Him.e. I understand Him because I am similar to Him. Hence. i. whereas in the rest of my Kli I will imagine Him abstractly. about the Creator’s properties that have not yet become 44 . immaterialized. Yet it exists in us because there is a great number of uncorrected Kelim that are opposed to the Creator’s form. not clothed in my properties.. from its red color (i. This means to remain within the limits of matter even in the expression of its form. However.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R However. In that part I can perceive the Creator correctly. And what exactly is my idea of “kindness”? Is my notion of “kindness” the same as what I ascribe to Him? If I become similar to the Creator by ten per cent in the category of “kindness”.e. then to the same extent I can testify that He is kind. and it will result in fallacies. That is. some part of which is corrected. my picture of Him would obviously be wrong because the properties in which I wish to imagine Him are still opposite to His. So without doubt. about the will and the intention to bestow that a part of his Kelim have acquired. I cannot say that He is kind. then I will modify it in the same way as I did with the category of “truth”. It is characteristic of man to reason about form dressed in matter. the abstract form. on no account should the person be overly focused on abstract form. if a person still wishes to separate the Upper Light from its essence..e. i. to separate the color red that emerges in the World of Beria from the colorless inner light).
corrected and uncorrected. we are constantly speaking about something that is not in us. hence “The Zohar” clearly states that only after the person has achieved equivalence of form with the Creator. I understand them. which is presumably divided into two parts. However. we still have many uncorrected Kelim. we will be talking about the Creator’s abstract form and will always be in the wrong. You can characterize whatever happens in it as the form equivalent to the Creator because its properties are clothed in matter. or even achieved the Gmar Tikkun. therefore we have no way of determining our position. of course. I can only advise him to 45 . So what does “The Book of Zohar” speak of? The light enters the corrected part of your Soul. We see how Kabbalah directs the person to practical understanding and knowledge. nothing can be proved or disproved. can he really speak about Him. which is similar to the Creator in its properties. which are destined to be filled with the Creator’s light. Unfortunately. This is because it is impossible to reason about the light out of the still uncorrected vessels. Oftentimes.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R his own. On the other hand. All of this exists within our Soul. Abstract forms invariably lead to erroneous conclusions. if we keep reasoning about the light that is still outside our Kelim. people tell me that they are already in the World of Beria or Atzilut. safeguarding him against various mistakes.
P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R read something. Thus. can one say that he has risen above the common mistake of working with abstract forms. which represents the red color and is defined as essence or the matter of the World of Beria. and no true Kabbalist would do it. Only when the person reaches the World of Atzilut and begins to raise the Kelim of the Worlds of BYA (Gadlut of the Soul). Accordingly. accumulation of knowledge. • The filling of the vessel of the World of Beria with the Upper Light. Each of us can see for himself how often confused thoughts visit us. which is the form in matter. for we are incapable of comprehending it. let alone those studying Zohar. Only the form clothed in matter and mater itself constitute an absolutely reliable source of knowledge. a pencil (I cannot imagine the notion of a pencil detached from its matter). he cannot stand firmly on his feet. There is no use in mentioning the “essence” of even the smallest part in creation. 46 . we will fail even more when trying to comprehend spiritual manifestations. the most stringent ban prohibits the study of the Upper Worlds. but continues treading on a very long path of realization. somehow show him the right direction. and we can never be sure where we really are. and try to generate more or less adequate sensations. and studying various forms dressed in matter. I can as little grasp the essence and abstract form of. Since we fail to comprehend the essence of objects in our corporeal world. we have before us the four aspects from our example in the World of Beria: • The vessel of Beria. When the person enters the spiritual world. say.
We should only rely on the first two levels of knowledge. Thus. matter and form in matter. So when we study Kabbalistic books. The second restriction will be explained in the same way. we have clarified the first restriction in detail: “The Book of Zohar” only speaks about the first and the second kinds of knowledge. we should never imagine anything that is not there. and bluntly misinterpret the author’s words. not a single word is mentioned in the entire book. 17.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R • The Upper Light itself. • The essence. as we explained the four kinds of knowledge in one component 47 . Concerning the third and the fourth kinds. detached from the matter of Beria. Otherwise we simply fail to take advantage of what is given to us. Know that.
and Assiya. Yetzira. Atzilut is colorless. The World of Atzilut constitutes the abstract form.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R of the World of Beria. i. the World of Infinity includes the World of Adam Kadmon) and is followed by the Worlds of Atzilut. 3). 48 . The white of the World of Atzilut is form cast into matter.e. Beria. as such. The World of Infinity. into the three worlds called BYA. green and black in the three Worlds of BYA are matter and essence. Beria is red. is essence.. Yetzira is green. where the colors red. the World of Beria is matter in which this form dresses. Let us take a look at all the spiritual worlds (Fig. so it is in general true with respect to the four Worlds of ABYA. and Assiya is black. The World of Infinity represents the essence (as we know.
since that is where the Souls are. 49 . All the more. If we attain our world from within (and we certainly will). The Book of Zohar deals neither with the ascent to the World of Infinity after the Gmar Tikkun. The white color stands alone and is not “dressed” into the three colors of the three Worlds of BYA. nor with the socalled eighth. it is the fourth kind of knowledge that each being conceals within itself. and tenth millennia. ninth. even in the beings of our world. meaning. As we have said in the first restriction.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R At the beginning of our research of “The Preface to the Book of Zohar” we have said that we do not study the World of Atzilut. but is an abstract form that we disregard. Tifferet and Malchut. the essence is beyond our grasp. Even if some Reshimo emerges in us and we correct it. the light of Hochma is not “dressed in Bina. more inner properties concealed in it remain unattainable. Therefore we will always see matter and its form. (See Fig. whereas the abstract form and essence will remain unattainable because our correction on all the levels will only be partial. we do not touch upon the Worlds of AK and Infinity. this correction is always limited and fragmentary. or. we should always remember that we only study matter and the form cast in matter. However. We deal with Atzilut only as the Worlds of BYA rise to it. the other way around. but only Beria. 4) The Final Correction (Gmar Tikkun) takes place in the World of Atzilut. We just imagine them because it is impossible to attain them before the Final Correction. the deeper. Yetzira. “The Zohar” exclusively speaks about our ascent to the World of Atzilut through the Worlds of BYA. as Atzilut shines inside the Worlds of BYA. and Assiya.
That is.e.. and after that GAR de GAR. representing the illumination of the World of Atzilut.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Let me tell you how it works. thus. There are four kinds of attainment. but at the moment only two of them are available to us. Besides. We cut off Malchut. Only the part of the Kli called VAK is used. the three colors of BYA. the light or Hochma. Tifferet and Malchut. when we work not from Malchut but from Yesod. Baal HaSulam warns us not to fall into that trap. The book of Zohar examines only these two kinds. Tifferet and Malchut – the form where it “dresses” itself in matter. The Zohar also speaks of the second kind. he will immediately become confused on all issues. “dressed” in Bina. we attain only the first nine Sefirot. Suppose there are Ten Sefirot.. we cannot attain the essence. it is said that we partially use Yesod. we should know what we can and cannot accept as something obvious. if each student is not utterly conscientious that when studying Zohar his thoughts and comprehension are always within the limits of these two kinds of knowledge. There is nothing said about it in the Zohar. i. so another attainment (perceived as the abstract form) is severed. if during our studies we do not clearly realize that we work with concrete forms cast in matter. 50 . We only attain them with the intention for the sake of bestowal. and stop receiving the Light that descends to us (it tries to fill Malchut). It speaks only of the first kind. Accordingly. considered as matter. we will totally miss what “The Zohar” tries to explain. and representing the three Sefirot: Bina. Therefore. “dressed” in the three colors of BYA.e. whereas GAR stays inactive. for it will strip the words of their true meaning. hence. from Keter to Malchut. i. We attain GAR de VAK in Gmar Tikkun.
at the same time avoiding the areas where I can err. see myself as someone who clearly understands all of these questions during the studies. someone who can precisely distinguish these properties in himself? Is this possible at all? Although he tells us that it is impossible. For what is a group? It is an indicator of my altruistic direction. by focusing on the Creator through the group. Can I really control myself. and my aspiration to the Creator through the group. I will necessarily be dealing with the part of me where my sensations are corrected. unless my intentions become altruistic. It is my study with the group. correct perception occurs subconsciously through our right attitude to reality. If I correctly direct myself at the Creator through the group (I. Therefore. and the Creator).e. We are provided with everything necessary for our spiritual growth. Thus. This happens because I cannot relate to the group in my desire to attain Him. whether it is realistic to accomplish what he describes. the group.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R A question arises. So.. 51 . i. we do not really need any special analytical and extrasensory abilities. then I am really focused on Him. the group helps me to stay within the correct framework and study only what I really need. if I am focused on the Creator through the group. That is why I have a very simple indicator of what I should be doing at the moment.
we will clearly see and feel how interconnected we are. true state. If we only speak about the worlds Beria. and Assiya or about the 52 . That is. Quite naturally. It also has the first and the second definition. while totally disregarding the likes or dislikes of people.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R There are a great number of people in our virtual group. interaction. and Atzilut consists of Ten Sefirot. This is because every part (state) on the ladder of worlds Assiya. becoming similar to Him. All of us study. Bina. This grows out of purely egoistic sentiments. Yetzira. and Malchut. and Malchut. Tifferet. What we explained about the four Worlds of ABYA is in general true with regard to each one of the worlds. in the same manner that form manifests in matter. as well as the Sefira Hochma.. which is the form that is free of matter. I will treat matter and the form in matter correctly. such as in the Rosh of the World of Atzilut. each attainment consists of Ten Sefirot: Keter. when it is vacant of Bina.. which I can only achieve with the help of the light. if we speak of how the Ohr Hochma manifests in Bina. As it is in relation to every small component of each of them. interdependence. ZA. Tifferet and Malchut as the matter in which the form has materialized. think of one another. and love. I will not transcend the limits of my uncorrected. directing myself at the Creator. Beria. and Malchut. 18. Yetzira. the laws of the Torah testify to my correct. and know that without each other’s help we will not be able to attain anything spiritual. Hochma. We do not mention Keter because it is the source of pure light. Gradually we will achieve unity. The Sefira Hochma exists as the form and Bina. in which I can imagine abstract categories and assert that their truth is above all. Each level. without any mental effort. so it is in the Sof of the World of Assiya. whose objects “The Zohar” examines. That is. Tifferet. unregulated desires.
it is utterly impossible to speak about the light which is outside the Kelim. then we imply matter. ZA. Baal HaSulam writes: “Do not think that you encounter these problems only when you reach higher levels of attainment. and 53 . However. It occurs even at the relatively low level of the World of Assiya…” He says that each small level consists of its own Sefirot Keter. Bina. and Malchut regardless of where they may be. Hochma. the source of the light. let alone imagine the essence which is even higher. There is no way we can say anything about the Creator Himself. It is possible to talk about it as well as about the light that fills the corrected Kelim (because it is the form assumed by matter) or about the Kelim themselves in their corrected or uncorrected form.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Sefirot Bina. Tifferet.
Hochma is the form. We either discuss Beria. of the light that enters into them. vegetative. which are the illuminations of the Upper Light in these worlds. we do not speak about what happens in Keter. This is something we attain after the Gmar Tikkun. You are quite right. 19. forces.. we either speak of our Kelim. purposes and ideas may exist in the universe.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Malchut. and Malchut). Keter is the abstract form. All that is written in “The Book of Zohar” only concerns man. or the form (the light) which dresses this matter. We shall now explain the third restriction. Baal HaSulam says that “The Zohar” studies everything that is found in the spiritual worlds. nonetheless. provided they are already corrected. but “The Zohar” does not deal with it. animate and speaking levels – the creations of the respective worlds. the way these Souls are served or how they serve other spiritual entities in the creation. Although “The Zohar” examines each world only from the point of Sefirot.e. Yetzira. vegetative. and each component on the still. where Bina. and animate levels of existence simply because it is not its task. But whatever the book may deal with (be that the light inside the Kli or the Kli itself). In other words. This is because in order 54 . ZA. and Assiya (Bina. We see how practical “The Zohar” is. and the essence is above it. So. You may object by saying that millions or billions of various creatures. the main object of the examination is. the speaking level in each of the worlds. ZA. because the correct direction to the Goal is dependent on it. i. and we will be discussing it while reading the book. ZA. for it is above the level of the Creator’s thoughts. the human Souls. our desires (Bina. and Malchut) or. We never speak of the form that is detached from matter. it never speaks separately about the still. Baal HaSulam devotes many pages of his works to this issue. and Malchut constitute matter.
This research is impossible to describe in books because no spoken or written word can express it.e.. in order to grow. and knowledge.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R to research such things one needs to rise to the level that is above “The Book of Zohar”.. wealth. • The yearning for pleasures that society provides. • The aspiration to the sciences. Our path completely changes after that. The rest is none of its concern. Therefore. • The will to receive beastly desires is the vegetative level of desire. looks for excesses. Even in man's food there are four ingredients from all the four degrees that are a consequence of his body having four degrees (still. i. reach higher that the book’s purpose. 55 . which corresponds to the still level of desire.e. it must lead us to the Final Correction. animate and speaking). We usually say that man consists of four levels of desire: for bodily pleasures. “The Zohar” exclusively speaks of things pertaining to our Souls. We will continue researching the universe in our corrected properties. the will to receive that is given in order to increase and fill one with pleasure in his vessel – flesh (Basar) of the body. “The Zohar’s” purpose is very concrete. fame. what should be corrected at the present moment. power. vegetative. • The will to receive in order to sustain oneself. animate and speaking) of this world. vegetative. • The will to receive in excess of the need to sustain oneself. These are: • The will to receive in order to sustain oneself. We find that a man in this world must receive nourishment from all the four levels (the still. i. but is capable of restraining only the beastly desires. such as universal respect and posts in government.
you will learn the categories of the Upper spiritual world. If I am thirsty for knowledge. 56 .P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R • The will for human pleasures. all that is on the still. vegetative and animate levels. vegetative. vegetative. I receive pleasure from a higher level that is novel to me as well as to many people. all of which are lower than his. • The aspiration to the sciences is the speaking level of desire. then I receive nourishment from objects that are lower than my own level: from the still. 21. I too depend on the still level (money). is impressed upon the still. and from the second level – the degree of animate desires that exceed the need to sustain oneself. are for him reception and nourishment from the still. If I desire food or sexual pleasures (these are the two basic kinds of pleasure that my body demands). animate and human copy one another. vegetative. animate and speaking levels in the World of Assiya are impressed upon the still. vegetative. which corresponds to the animate level of desire. animate and speaking levels of the World of Assiya. 20. animate and speaking levels in the World of Beria. All of these levels in each world: the still. the human level. Since all the worlds are imprints of one another from upper to lower..e. vegetative. If I seek wealth. Again. each world being on its own different level of organized matter. the measure of the need to sustain oneself. i. animate and speaking levels of the World of Yetzira. Similarly. Moreover. I already need people like myself. vegetative. animate and speaking levels of this world. vegetative. the still. vegetative and animate levels. My aspirations are then considered spiritual in this world. We therefore find that a reception from the first level. and all that is on the still. animate and speaking in the World of Yetzira is impressed upon the degrees still. If I am after power and fame.
Likewise. he receives spiritual light from angels who are there in quantities above what is needed to sustain his existence. which is the will to receive in order to sustain one’s existence. in order to develop the spiritual vessels in which his Soul is vested. a person in the corporeal world receives fulfillment from all the corporeal reality of our world. the human Soul in the spiritual world is the central point of the creation and governs all levels of matter in the Upper realm. he receives from equals there also. • In Behina Gimel. and their level is lower than that of human Souls. These are palaces. The Souls of people are the center of each world and receive fulfillment from the entire spiritual reality of the corresponding world. which is the excess of the animate desires that increase his body. which are lower in relation to him. • In Behina Bet. Thus. representing the human degree of the will to receive that develops the spirit (Ruach) of man – in this world he receives from equals.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R • The still degree in the spiritual world is called “palaces” • The vegetative level is called “robes” • The animate is called “angels” • The speaking level consists of the Souls of people in their respective world • The Ten Sefirot in each world – is Divinity (the Upper Light dressed in these four levels). which are there. and rules over all the other levels (everything else only exists for his sake). In the same way man in our world represents the “crown” of nature. meaning 57 . he receives illumination from palaces and robes. robes and angels. • The reason is that he receives from Behina Aleph and Bet. • In Behina Aleph.
we should always separate real attainments from imaginary ones that we can neither test. with some object in the spiritual world. which receives and is filled by them. Man’s Soul has to develop and perfect itself in each of the worlds using everything that is in that world. receiving from them HaBaD of his Soul. abstract form. angels. abstract form. and worlds. angels. that the entire Book of Zohar speaks about every component of the Upper Worlds that we study. And although we study them as they are. he receives from Sefirot of the respective world. palaces. and essence. show you what its matter. That is why he provides such a detailed explanation. the student must always bear in mind that they are mentioned only in relation to man’s Soul. • In Behina Dalet of the will to receive. form in matter. and essence are. you will comprehend everything and be successful in your path. With their help he magnifies the light of Ruach filling his Soul. We will keep returning to the limitations pertaining to the four kinds of knowledge: matter. Hopefully. If you follow that line in your studies. Basically. whether it be Sefirot. Whatever we may feel.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R all of the Souls that find themselves in that world. robes. nor analyze. We will see them in Souls. we will soon reach that level. 58 . Baal HaSulam says that by strictly observing all of these limitations one will succeed on his path. this is what we aspire to achieve. It means that they all serve the needs of that Soul. that is aspiration for sciences (the attainment of Kabbalah in the spiritual world is meant). We have spoken of the things which we are still unable to feel. form in matter. It would have been wonderful if I could. This is the third restriction that one needs to be aware of. Souls. robes or palaces.
Blood is further transformed into its body matter. Hence. Together we aspire to achieve one goal. a mother’s body has a special system for producing milk. Although they look rather “dry” and abstract now. Whatever we learn and understand. we already subconsciously prepare ourselves. they will gradually become our main instruments of attainment. There is always a problem of communication and mutual understanding between the upper and lower spiritual entities.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R But even now. when we come to study Kabbalah. because we will periodically speak about them. adaptability and communication. and so on. there should always be an intermediary between them. which is then transformed into blood. unknown matter. The baby sucks milk. Basically. So. we wish to receive power from above that will elevate and change us in such a way that we may begin to feel the Upper World. We see it in our world too: between adults and between children as well as between adults and children. the translation loses some of the Hebrew original’s poignancy and vividness. For instance. I recommend you to go through these four kinds of knowledge. However. Both the upper and lower levels should have systems of adjustment. in order for the lower level to receive from the upper one. and the text is rather confusing. as we speak about it. this light propels us forward. Baal HaSulam’s language is a little archaic. of delving into new. When the matter concerns two high levels. there must be certain ways of passage and modification between them. attract upon ourselves the correcting light of enormous power. The most important thing is our unity and common desire. in order to raise a baby. I strongly advise you to review this material and write a short summary of what is written here. acquire an ad59 . “The Preface to the Book of Zohar” speaks about the limitations we need to observe so as to correctly perceive the information provided by the book.
and from Paragraph 22 onwards. the only thing created by the Creator. we will enter deeper into these limitations. failing to establish contact with the upper level. numbers and so on – in a word. Its form is a way of receiving pleasure: “for one’s sake” or “for the sake of the Creator”. We should stay within these two categories and avoid abstract forms of reasoning about egoism and altruism without any connection with matter. we will be lost in our own illusions and superstitions. we are left with describing. contact. all the material images that one encounters in the Book of Zohar. but also ultimate in its magnitude. After all that has been said. the essence. separation and unification. small condition and large one. Baal HaSulam provided us with this Preface. Matter is our will to receive pleasure. We will now discuss two limitations. communication between the upper level that sends me the light and me. The text instructs us how to restrict ourselves (create a “tube” through which everything will descend to me from the upper level). with the help of the Ten Sefirot. rather. or speculate about the Creator.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R ditional sense of perception. to make it not only correct. tuning ourselves up to the wave that “The Zohar” transmits to us. we need to adapt ourselves to the Upper World in order to take from it what it has to give us. or. comprehension and adaptation to the true universe. this is insufficient. everything that the 60 . Such images are upper and lower. how to receive correctly and most efficiently rise to the higher level. a correct combination. rise and fall. 22. To direct us at this contact precisely. Therefore. Unless we succeed. diminishing and expanding. However. It is similar to a healthy baby that receives nourishment from its mother and can completely and properly digest it.
with an optical device that consists of the four pieces of colored glass – white. red. We do not need a language within ourselves. that it is only in the vessels of Sefirot.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R lower ones cause in the Ten Sefirot with their good and bad actions (described with earthly words in “The Zohar”). At first sight. What is Baal HaSulam trying to convey in this long sentence? He says the following: even though nothing happens in the Creator’s light. if I change something within me. we express the light’s influ61 . I change the entire universe. it seems peculiar: how is it possible that the Upper Worlds are so inspired that changes in them can be described as caused by the actions of the lower ones? That is. which are not divine. These Sentiments should be transformed. to the measure and with the swiftness that are required for the Souls to reach the desired Final Correction. and everything only takes place in our Souls. The Ten Sefirot comprise the physical-mathematical language of the spiritual world. vested into some images. expansion-contraction. it becomes necessary only for passing information. We can write it down or express it in some other way. they are nevertheless created only with the creation of Souls. How can one pass from the words of this world to expressing the same through Ten Sefirot? There are no words in the spiritual world. which we can pass to one another. This is in order to conceal or reveal the degree of attainment. falls-rises to their correct interpretation and description with the help of Ten Sefirot. green and black. Can I influence the Upper Worlds from this world? Even if you find it necessary to declare that nothing in the Upper Light is of the sort that “dresses” itself and shines in the Ten Sefirot. “The Book of Zohar” explains how to pass from such word pairs as higher-lower. It is as in the example mentioned above. The worlds with all the forces and spiritual entities that are in them descend and move. only Sentiments.
This means that the refrigerator’s constant influence cools the water down to its own temperature. It turns out that by His constant kind pressure. Basically. our desire to receive pleasure. That is. but it generates bigger and bigger changes in us. the refrigerator’s influence is invariable. His attitude to us is absolutely good. and increasingly good Sentiments pertaining to Him. rather. Kabbalah does not do that so as to tell us what else we are going to experience under the light’s constant influence. encourages us to make our own earnest effort and by our personal and independent participation shorten this process. the Creator invokes in us increasingly worse sensations pertaining to our own condition. we go through the same transformations. It is said: “I. At that. Kabbalah describes all transformations that take place within us under the light’s constant influence. We begin to aspire for a more elevated state. I put a glass of water into the refrigerator. It. hence. our life as positive and pleasant. In other words. and begin sensing our states as imperfect and remote from Him.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R ence with theses words. we. the Creator. The same happens with us: the Upper Light exerts on us its constant pressure. perceive our spiritual ascent. do not change My Name”. and changes it in accordance with its own parameters. For example. wish the light to purify us and make us similar to it. but they become desired. Kabbalah describes the constant changes that we go through. The temperature of water in the glass is 20° Centigrade. an 62 . since His influence penetrates us ever more deeply. but its pressure gradually penetrates our matter. from our present state up to a complete equivalence of form with the light called the Gmar Tikkun. whereas the temperature of the water in the glass is constantly changing. we begin to adapt ourselves to it. and He is constantly pressing us in order to elevate us to the level of the Absolute Good. However. while the temperature inside the refrigerator is only 10°. This influence is constant. in anticipation of the bright future states.
they are nevertheless created only with the creation of Souls. it is not a game. 23. or from the point of the Kli. different informational Kelim are alternately activated in us. we evaluate our state either from the point of the light. where there are vessels of the Sefirot which have been created. but not the divinity. Thus. which stated: 63 . we must recall what was said in paragraph 17. and the Kli that changes under the light’s influence in order to reach equivalence of form with the Creator. In order to understand the above. The light. Both the Creator and His light are invariable. which are not divine. it would be utterly groundless to opine that they exist in the World of Atzilut where the vessels of the Ten Sefirot as well represent the utter divinity. Baal HaSulam wishes to say the following: in all there are three components: the Creator. is an act according to the measure and with the swiftness that are required for the Souls to reach the desired correction. however. the light that is emanated from Him. This is in order to conceal or reveal the degree of attainment. All of this exists in absolute unity. that it is only in the vessels of the Sefirot. whereas all changes take place in us to make us similar to Him. However. in actual fact. it seems to us that we go through different states. consequently. It is similar to the case where the white color in a book and the material that forms its letters are all possible in the three Worlds of BYA. However. The light is constantly playing with us. merged with the Upper Light that fills them. Therefore. Since we consist of Reshimo de Yitlabshut and Reshimo de Aviut (information about the light and the Kli). Even if you find it necessary to declare that nothing in the Upper Light is of the sort that “dresses” itself and shines in the Ten Sefirot.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R active participation in the process of correction elevates man to a fairly good level the moment he makes his decision.
Matter is reception. which we call the unattainable essence. and takes the form of the World of Atzilut. the World of Atzilut dresses into matter and gives it its form of bestowal. and only then do we give this sensation or state a name. • The World of Atzilut is the form. it means that we first attain. grasp. Now let us take a look at the drawing in order to understand where we are in our research of “The Book of Zohar. From that moment. The Worlds of Infinity and Adam Kadmon represent the essence. This refers to the Worlds of Infinity and Adam Kadmon. That is to say. What is “Infinity” for us? Is it simply a lack of comprehension? In such a case it may not be called this name. We spend our time in this world only during a preparation period before we enter the Upper World. This desire begins to acquire the form of bestowal. and Assiya constitute matter. Yetzira. weigh and graduate it within us.” There exist the Worlds of Infinity. Adam Kadmon. the World of Atzilut is the form. and Assiya. or Sium. and this world.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R • The essence that creates reality is a mystery substance. Yetzira. desire to receive. Kabbalah tells us about a stage that begins after we cross the Machsom and commence our ascent. If we use a certain word to denote something. in the essences of the material world. while the Worlds of Beria. Below them are Machsom. matter (our desire) gradually emerges in us. Atzilut. • The luminescence of Atzilut in BYA is the form dressed onto matter. Now let us try to understand how we attain Infinity. which cannot be comprehended by us. Beria. • Three Worlds of BYA are the matter. That is to say. if I call 64 .
This is what is called the World of Infinity. it means that I have experienced that state. unrelated details. This happens because the notion of Infinity seems truly infinite to us. definitions. We also call the World of Infinity the “first state of Souls” when all Souls exist in the Creator. measures. and after measuring it in accordance with all accepted standards and rules. We enter into it. Baal HaSulam asks: How can you name something that is not comprehended? And gives this answer: The name of the World of Infinity does not express the essence of the One Who Creates Reality per se. and the definition of Infinity vanishes. light and darkness dissolve in one all-embracing notion. this merging is called Infinity. Let us say a person wants to build a nice house. Thus. The same is true with our world: when we cannot coordinate cause and effect. everything seems to consist of contrasting. and it becomes real. and all contradictions disappear. Infinity is one of precise physical categories. 24. We cannot attain it our present state because we have not yet reached the final state. However. Let me give an example from our world. Infinity means confluence of the two extreme points of the creation. filled with all possible delights. Thus. Good and evil. His first thought pictures a house with all the rooms and amenities just as it will be when its construction 65 .P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R something Infinity. these notions merge within us. This is reflected in the intent of the creation about which it is said “the completion of the action is in its initial design” –connection of all Creation with Him until complete correction. the full volume of which will be received at the state of Final Correction. give it a name. clear and attainable. but rather points out that all the worlds and Souls are included in Him. Inasmuch as there is a state in which both the first and the last thoughts merge into one. as we begin correcting our inner properties and rise to the light’s level.
past. reception and bestowal. If we try to combine within us opposite notions. this allegory does not entirely convey the meaning. bricks. but we only understand them when they are opposed to each other: good and evil. which thus ceases to be infinite. we will enter the World of Infinity. one detail at a time: wood. We should do our best to pass from our usual notions of “eternity”. all of the Creation is prepared in its complete perfection. Therefore. limited and unlimited. we will be trying to unite all the notions with one source. If we make a point of superposing these notions in our inner properties. and future merge into one. We will enter a constant and absolute state when time becomes irrelevant. This is exactly what happens in the Creator. metal frames. All the spiritual notions exist within us. Only after that does he begin building the house for real and continues building it until it is done. the real reality is in Him. In the article “Habit Becomes a Second Nature” from his book entitled “Shamati” (“I Heard”) Baal HaSulam writes that all the concealed. just as he planned it initially. we need to get used to this state. We perceive our remoteness from the Creator as Infinity. etc. After that. etc. where the present. so that all of them will merge into a single whole. he lays out the plan of construction in all of its details to explain it to the builders. He does not need any instruments for action.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R is finished. In the course of our advancement. Little by little. Infinity will gradually become our reality. as we do. From the Creator’s 66 . and becomes real. and the initial design is being implemented in Him. which is the mystery of initial design. However. hence in Him a thought and an action are the same. black and white. correct. because the future and the past are one for the Creator. spiritual definitions. “infinity” to more concrete. You should know that in the World of Infinity. implicit qualities and states are within us because we exist in our present state only in our perception.
“The Zohar” encourages us to develop rudiments of these sensations. in the only state that was ever created by Him.e. we begin to perceive all kinds of events that were passing unnoticed before. Baal HaSulam says that we can achieve this state with the help of ongoing exercise. which in its own time will be realized in reality. present. he does not yet have anything save his own mental image of the house. It is the same with the spiritual: first. metal pieces. Any action in our world gets into the field of our vision or stays beyond it only depending on whether we can attune ourselves to that action. we gradually acquire special senses. Baal HaSulam continues with the example of a house: the World of Atzilut is like a thoughtful and detailed plan that will be realized.. which will turn into our second nature. the worlds of. “The Book of Zohar” says that the category of Infinity is based on contrast. by developing a habit. which can be clearly imagined. the Worlds of Infinity and Adam Kadmon). from you and me. Adam Kadmon. we are in a state of perfection and infinity. but has not yet materialized. That is to say. Our task is to correct our sensations. which is the World of Infinity. You should know that both the initial design.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R perspective. and then we can perceive spiritual reality. This is a detailed plan of the house with drawings and specifications – all that exists on paper. The purpose is to build a house (i. and future merge. While learning and acquiring proper habits. and deliberative detailed plan. that spirituality is where the past. A person does similarly: although he has thought out all the details (bricks. wood) that he will need during construction. and Atzilut are completely detached from the Souls. feel our true condition. Infinity. because everything is still in the design stage where nothing yet has been implemented into practice. 67 . do not have anything to do with creatures. The World of Atzilut is a form.
the Upper Light shines in the Worlds of BYA to the extent that Souls must receive it in order to reach their completion. The infinite light dresses into the Ten Sefirot of the World of Atzilut. our state is spiritually illusory. Bina. it is perceived only within us. Netzah. one should understand how the three components in the house design are related to one another by causes and consequences. and transforms them accordingly. everything that they convey relates only to the creation of creatures as they all exist in the design. along with this world. through them. the third state of the creation is absolutely real. newly created for the Souls’ needs. it enters into our Souls. no wood. rather. Adam Kadmon and Infinity). The Upper Light “dresses” itself into ten Kelim Keter. just as construction material is needed before construction is complete. 25. he cannot feel it. while the Creator’s design is the reality itself and is incomparably greater than the reality of creatures. 68 . Hesed. This resembles a sick person lying unconscious in his bed. In comparison with it (the Worlds of Atzilut. Just as in our example with a house. we have explained the mystery of the World of Infinity and the World of Atzilut. imagine a person in a dark room. which are the real Kelim relative to the Creator. Although he is in this world. The three Worlds of BYA. and Malchut. they are not related to the Creator. Thus. there is nothing yet in humanity’s construction plan: no bricks.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R The main difference is that the mental plan of a person is not reality. no metal pieces. Gevura. That is. Tifferet. where the root of everything is in the initial design. Or. Therefore. Hod. 26. Correspondingly. but. Yesod. are the embodiments of a planned action. but their essence has not yet been revealed. unaware of the enormous world around him. From the example above. Hochma.
P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R There will be no element in the plan that is not aimed at the completion of the action taken in accordance with the initial plan. we feel comfortable. the Souls in their initial state are in their perfect state of Complete Correction.” Everything that will be revealed in the Final Correction exists there and initially emanates from the World of Infinity into the World of 69 . nothing will be put into practice during construction that was not already included in the initial plan. all of our states are as fixed and predetermined as every stage in a construction plan: first. If we do that of our own free will. Hence. erecting buttresses. However. because the difference between our aspirations and the Creator’s state disappears. That is. everything happens only in accordance with the initial plan. which is consistent with saying “completion of action is in the initial plan. This issue is left to us. black and white. and many other parameters and categories. We and the Creator are the two main opposites that include all the other contrasting pairs: good and evil. etc. All of them begin to converge. digging a pit. we cannot influence anything around us. Both in the Worlds of BYA and in our world. building a foundation. You should understand that there is not even a slightest new element that was not originated in the World of Infinity. and in merging with the Creator. they usher us into a state called the World of Infinity. and in the course of our convergence we attain the World of Infinity. We gradually come to that conclusion in the course of our life… The only area where we can apply our effort is in accelerating our entry into the spiritual world. it depends on the changes that our Kelim go through from our present state up to complete equivalence of form with the World of Infinity. In actual fact. up and down. which is instantly realized in the World of Infinity. we cannot really change anything in this world save our own aspiration to the Purpose of creation. and by merging into a single point.
If the person stops interfering in the surrounding world and only concentrates on his inner work (i. but. That is to say. This happens with us. By giving up his attempts to change this world mechanically outside himself. we need to check very well whether we should intervene in the process. In accordance with it. there is not the smallest component in this world that did not emanate from the World of Infinity.e. his personal root in the World of Atzilut. From the World of Atzilut. We see that all of man’s attempts to change the world lead to deterioration in ecology. every new emanation into the three Worlds of BYA unfolds into action. the Souls in the Worlds of BYA. This is the same as the mental plan in the example above. rather. if we observe a creature or an action in this world. trying to correct his attitude. The reason for that lies in our conviction that everything does not descend from the World of Infinity. and this defines the condition of all Souls in the initial state. Let us understand that there is nothing new existing in this world that did not emanate from the common root in the Creator’s World of Infinity. but depends on our actions. which is the personal relationship toward every new component existing in our world. into the Worlds of Yetzira. to bigger disappointments and suffering. or just change our attitude to it. The World of Atzilut emanates from the World of Infinity. that came down into the Worlds of BYA and became the creation by unfolding into our world. where the initial design is realized as the house is being built in reality. Assiya and the lowest level in our world. 70 ..P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Atzilut. Therefore. and is revealed as the Creator’s attitude toward creation. on his attitude to the world). he can transform it beyond recognition and elevate his own perception of the world to the state of Infinity and perfection. his inner sensations. we should take it as the Creator’s act descending from the World of Infinity.
However. Zeir Anpin. Souls start opening up in the World of Beria. these two worlds (the World of Infinity and World of Atzilut) do not contain any Souls yet. because the Upper Light does not undergo any changes. which measure the volume and pace of Souls. Be that as it may. and Assiya. Whatever inner attitude we may have towards the world. That is why the kelim of the Ten Sefirot. being the results of the Worlds of Beria. Rather. there is no real wood. The colors red. The Worlds of Beria. and Assiya are the consequences of the Sefirot Bina. to the extent of their receiving from the World of Atzilut through the three Worlds of BYA. By changing our attitude to it. they are newly created. Yetzira. we need to understand that all the changes that take place in the World of Atzilut have nothing to do with the Creator himself. As it is in the mental plan of a person. it is impossible even to think that they are divine. we can reach it. because the Upper Light does not contain any changes or quantitative characteristics. This is the most efficient means and the greatest power that is given to us in the entire universe. our senses cannot perceive the influence of this attitude on the universe. green and black. This world corresponds to the World of Infinity just as the mental plan correlates to the initial design. We are speaking only about Souls. and Malchut. nor iron pieces. nor bricks. “The Zohar” teaches us that everything descends from the World of Infinity and all that takes place in our world is a consequence of what happens there.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R man truly acts. 71 . At the same time. and black correspond with them. 27. Yetzira. by aspiring to it. are undoubtedly not divine. I believe that science will clearly demonstrate it to us in the near future. Moreover. by seeing everything as if it is already there. That is also why we correlate the kelim of the Ten Sefirot of three Worlds of BYA with the colors red. green.
They exist there as the mental design of all the parts which will be realized in a corresponding order when the Worlds of BYA are built. the Sefirot that are not divine (i. ultimate state. or the World of Assiya. The first nine letters from Aleph to Tet correspond with Bina. Yetzira.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R These are our inner uncorrected or partially corrected properties against the white background of Atzilut. do not refer to the Creator) and consequently have the three aforementioned colors (red. It is obvious that the Kelim of the Ten Sefirot of the Worlds of BYA receive all their parts and details from the World of Atzilut. Any change is made by the Kelim. and black. and Assiya through three filters: red. the Kabbalistic alphabet comprises twenty-two letters. We perceive these colors and their numerous combinations as a complete palette of our sensations. corresponds with Zeir Anpin. but has not yet reached his true. because light has only one nature. or the World of Beria. 72 . These three colors form the basis for numerous combinations. 28. The second group of letters. from Kuf to Tav originate in Malchut. The Hebrew letters originate in the same three Sefirot: Bina. Even the light filling the lowest Kli in the World of Assiya is simple divinity without slightest change. green.. Therefore. and Malchut. Every slightest detail or action had been completely formed in the World of Atzilut before it descended to the Worlds of BYA. The color white of Atzilut passes through these three filters and descends to us already tinted. In all. before man enters the World of Atzilut and reaches the property of Bina (complete bestowal). However. nothing of what he attains is considered quite true. green. or the World of Yetzira. and black).e. Zeir Anpin. the light that is “dressed” in the ten Kelim in Worlds of BYA is a divine. Man is already in the spiritual world. simple unity without any disturbance. The last four letters. We (the Souls) receive the light from the Worlds of Beria. from Yud to Tzadi.
All the roots of the Ten Sefirot emanate from it. we can reach through it the Ten Sefirot of Atzilut because they are directly connected between them. That is why it shines around every letter and inside every letter. our attitude to life and to the world will change. However. Hochma. We cannot see the wisdom of the white color of Atzilut.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Baal HaSulam encourages us to stop thinking that our actions can change anything. If we can adopt this truth. but instead. from the mental design. Bina. Similar to the white color of the pages of a book of wisdom (notwithstanding the fact that nothing can be comprehended through the white color). Therefore. it manifests through its luminescence in the Worlds of Beria. Yetzira. we can say that the material of the letters (red.e. receives from the corresponding Sefirot: Keter. that is. and black) is absolutely unattainable.. and Malchut of the World of Atzilut. it is the carrier of everything that is in a book of wisdom. We call the color of the Kelim de Atzilut white. We will stop wasting our energy on something we cannot change. any single part. will start looking for a point with the help of which we can transform the world. which give us the entire gamut of sensations. and Assiya. So. if we discover within ourselves the slightest spiritual detail consisting of Ten Sefirot. This is because the material is lifeless. Zeir Anpin. we discern that the Kelim of the Ten Sefirot HuBTuM of the Worlds of BYA receive from the corresponding Kelim HuBTuM of the World of Atzilut. Similarly. green. which is not even a color—it is colorless. We receive all our attainments and knowledge through the 73 . it is the source of all colors. giving them their shape and determining a special position of every combination. According to this. in the Worlds of BYA. i.
at the same time. From the above. one should understand that the splitting of the World of Atzilut into three components. the shining of white onto the Worlds of BYA. This is because the Creator means Divinity itself (the property of bestowal). His light and His actions which are one”. and nothing can be known of them: neither quantity. which reveals the wisdom of a book to us. whose essence we do not comprehend. when “the Creator. endless. to the level of the World of Infinity.” hence Atzilut emanates the white color in spite of the fact that there exists only a simple unity with nothing from created beings. we read the letters. are “He. Such merging takes place at the level of the World of Atzilut and higher. however. If in our present state we feel the universe around us and ourselves in it. where they merge into a single whole. They are similar to the white color. we read the white color around each letter. on the one hand. we can complement that picture with the Creator and His influence. nor changes. while on the other hand. our letters. That is to say. boundless Oneness. Only by superposing the two notions of Infinity. which were likened to 74 . when we ascend to the spiritual world and enter the World of Atzilut. His light. The luminescence around and inside letters gives them their shape. This is the essence of the Ten Sefirot de Atzilut. we come up with a pretty complex picture. As a result.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R material of the book. However. which is white. In reality. which are the three colors of letters. the Creator. and the attainment of the true wisdom takes place. and His actions are one. as described in “Corrections to Zohar”. creates the Kelim of Ten Sefirot de Atzilut. the universe that we perceive. limitless. by elevating our sensations. “His actions” constitute the ten Kelim HuBTuM existing in Him. His influence on us. all merge into a single whole called “the Creator’s merging with the creation”. 29.
The matter of the letters begins in the Worlds of BYA.e. As for the World of Atzilut itself. Hochma. We will simply be unable to receive it. which allows for the letter's shape. which is similar to the way a mental design is implemented in reality when a house is built. Indeed. for nothing there would make any quantity. We first find them in the Kelim: Keter. although it is formless. Thus. i. whereas there is no color in itself. that the Creator performs many actions. although in reality he performs none. ZA. Pertaining to those receiving in the Worlds of BYA. When we ascend to the World of Atzilut through the Worlds of BYA. 75 . “The Zohar” speaks of nothing from Atzilut and above. by means of the worlds BYA that superpose the World of Atzilut. all the changes taking place in the Worlds of BYA occur only under the influence of the shining of the Kelim of the Ten Sefirot HuBTuM de Atzilut. we can differentiate all the numerous changes taking place in the color white. The ten Kelim in the World of Atzilut reveal themselves in numerous changes according to their shining in the World of BYA.. We do not attain the white color with the help of other letters. Various contradictions begin to merge and disappear in this simple unity. in this attainment of perfection. We can characterize neither the Creator nor His actions in the World of Atzilut. but only about the Worlds of BYA. there is no quantity whatsoever in it. Therefore. Bina. and Malchut of the World of Atzilut. as it is all white. but only with the help of the color white. Even quantity is impossible to discern in the white.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R the color white in a book of wisdom. because otherwise it is impossible to convey the information to us. it is just as the color white does not acquire the colors of the letters. we see that the color white has a multitude of forms.
. only a simple. we say that out of the five Sefirot (Keter. and black of the Worlds of BYA. and black respectively. This light is understood by us only as it concerns the Souls receiving from the World of Atzilut. However. It enters the colors red. Everything depends on our sensations and correct adaptations to the true reality in place of the illusion. green.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R We attain nothing. the light and His actions in the World of Atzilut are one” does not fall into several categories the way we perceive it in our world. Hochma (Atzilut ( ) is white. but only with regard to us. the light that they receive there is determined as Ohr Hochma or Ohr Haya. the Creator. which is the mystery of the word “He. ZA.all of this . and descends to us. we do not mean the Divinity per se.” Hence. 30. “His light” refers to the light inside of the white color of Atzilut that are Kelim. Bina. it will merge within one all-embracing Upper Force. for there is no quantity or action in it. Hochma is white (the World of Atzilut). It is also called “this white light. as we correct our perception of reality. Our world. Nevertheless. and Malchut) Keter is colorless. In other words. We have said that the notion “the Creator. unattainable light. the other shines out of this category as the color white. ZA. while Bina. This is how the colors are distributed. Kabbalah speaks about how we should correct our perception of the surrounding world in order to feel the World of Infinity instead of it. 76 . His actions. our actions.and we seem to be absolutely disunited. and Malchut are red. it has no name there at all. when the three Worlds of BYA rise up to Atzilut with the Souls of people. which rules over all. if we only speak about the color itself.” There exists two notions of light: one refers to the word “He”. Hochma. the Souls. However. That is to say. green. which we feel in our five senses.
demands. the Creator. by our actions. So should what the correct tune-up to “The Zohar” be? The conclusion is that we never affect anything in the World of Atzilut with our actions. That is. and how the World of Atzilut begins to emanate the light and pull us up to itself. we call this light “His light”. At our lessons. developments. we will not receive the spiritual information and will fail to understand what is really written in the book. This light never descends below the Parsa de Atzilut. our desires. the light and His actions are one. we can cause changes. 31. we study the World of Atzilut. And as for all the actions that take place in Atzilut with regard to 77 . means that in the Upper Light itself there is nothing but its simplicity. which serves a basis for printing the letters. Only its tiny luminescence can do so. Baal HaSulam says that there is another aid for the correct understanding of “The Zohar. how the Souls raise their desires to the world Atzilut through the Worlds of BYA.” If we disregard it. desires.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R From this point of view. That is why it is impossible to comprehend the World of Atzilut per se. It only shines below the Parsa in order to “tempt” the Kelim by its luminescence and attract them to Atzilut. which increase or decrease as the result of people’s actions. We only perceive it as the white color of a book’s page. who kept reading “The Zohar” one generation after another without understanding anything and imagining all kinds of fantastic pictures. We will be as millions of other people. We learn that certain actions take place in the world Atzilut under the influence of MAN.” All three of these components are said to merge above the Parsa of the World of Atzilut into one notion. because no changes are possible in it. as it is written: “He. the Worlds of BYA. The way “The Zohar” describes the Kelim HuBTuM in the World of Atzilut. but never under the Parsa. We know that Ohr Hochma can only be present in the World of Atzilut.
we receive it. in the World of Atzilut. Atik. where all of our actions take place. search. and ZON of the World of Atzilut. the Partzufim that change depending on our MAN). This is similar to a candle for which it makes no difference whether you light up tens of thousands of other candles from it or none. Such an understanding can save us many years of futile effort. YESHSUT. it is constantly and unfailingly shining upon us. all of this we perceive within us. The same is with 78 . In actual fact. whereas all the changes occur within us. and not within us.” All that is written there aims at generating necessary changes in us. It is very important for us to develop a correct attitude to the universe and to receive the information that is contained in “The Book of Zohar. AVI. all the changes in our Kelim (from our present state up to the World of Infinity: boundless attainment) take place only within us. no changes ever take place in the World of Atzilut. AA. the source of the light. From what we see in this world. All our efforts should be directed inward. It stems from the same source: We erroneously believe that all changes take place outside. we come to believe that the same actions happen in the World of Atzilut. everything depends on the person’s inner Kelim. There will be no change in the candle itself. The phenomena that we research as its changes with regard to us (rises. it only seems to us that only they happen in Atzilut and only with regard to the Souls. When we fall and become unworthy of the light. However. 32. In reality. falls. and confusion. his sensations. let us repeat: we should perceive the World of Atzilut as something constant. AVI and ZON ascending and descending in the worlds. As much as we become worthy of receiving the light in our world. Therefore. This is the same delusion as in trying to change the world around us. it disappears.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R the Souls. It seems to us that it happens above. invariable.
there are no changes in the World of Atzilut. our perception of the world changes so that we see and feel it as something invariable. static. for there will be no changes in Adam HaRishon himself. reality. Similarly. and occurs within them. the great sages who already live in the World of Infinity. When Kabbalists mention the word “secret”. But until we do feel this way.” Here is how Baal HaSulam answers: “The same occurs in our world. consisting of numerous real objects. whether the lower ones receive immeasurable abundance from it or receive nothing. for them it is their essence. Why do they entangle us this way? They have attained it. and not to pile up so many definitions in the World of Atzilut. It seems to us that everything happens outside.” In actual fact. 33. So why do they describe it in such a confusing form? Do they intend to purposely baffle us? Would it not have been better to describe it in relation to receiving in the Worlds of BYA. Why is it all so confused? Baal HaSulam writes: That has in it a big secret. It matters not whether he will father numerous sons like himself or none at all.. i. forces. the world looks quite tangible. and gradually dissolving in our spiritual vision. This is because 79 . need to describe all the changes in the World of Atzilut. as we begin to attain the spiritual. existence. why do those who have attained the knowledge of “The Zohar”.e. that is why we describe our reality the way we do.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R regard to Adam HaRishon. All of the growing (advancement) concerns only the lower ones. actions. it means that they wish to reveal something to us. to which we would have to look for some kind of excuses? Baal HaSulam asks the question that should necessarily arise in our mind: “Why is Kabbalah written in this way? It seems to be thoroughly misleading: it tells us of what happens in the Souls as if it takes place in the worlds. However.
By manifesting Himself to me. and learn that there was nothing more than necessary for playing with him. The Soul asks and the Creator responds. “Kind”. 80 . i. which I perceive as movement toward me. as if He always changes.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R in our imperfect state we cannot sense the true reality of the World of Infinity. beside my own action. What we feel is our present condition. the spiritual also advances toward me. he or she begins to understand the Creator’s thoughts in each sensation or action. He does that only to force his favorite son to widen his understanding. It is similar to the father who is hiding himself from his favorite little son in grief and in happiness. This is a very subtle point. Why does the Creator fill the Souls with a sensation as though something happens beyond them? Baal HaSulam answers: in order to maximally increase the comprehension of the Souls.. I perceive the Creator’s plan in addition to my own actions. Here is what they say: This has the manifestation of Divinity. When I feel that apart from my personal aspiration for the spiritual. of the Creator’s special power. in all of His possible manifestations. We imagine the Creator as “Terrifying”. In fact. Thus. because these images create an impression that they exist outside.e. and “Loving”. If the person interprets it correctly. The difference between our present state and the World of Infinity is called a “secret”. although in reality they only exist in the receiving Souls to show them as if the Creator Himself takes part in all the actions together with them. while the Soul advances toward Him. I also receive an additional part of the Creator’s mind. Only when he grows up and becomes wiser will he discover everything that his father did for him. and to play with him. by the Kabbalists who have reached a certain level of spiritual attainment called “prophecy”. although he has in him neither grief nor happiness. which elevates me to the spiritual world. He just reveals His plan to me. the Creator as it were is moving in my direction. This secret was expressed by the prophets. moves toward it. “Cruel”.
Only in this way are they privileged to receive all knowl81 . this manifestation of the Creator in our perception creates an imaginary picture. In spite of the fact that all of these images and transformations begin and end in the impressions of Souls. most of our knowledge would have been non-existent. we not only evolve. The Creator does that in order to maximally increase the comprehension of the Souls in accordance with the thought of creation. His thoughts. we do not see it as it really is. But for that. In other words. it creates in us an illusion that everything we see exists outside our brain. which is “to delight His created beings”. man should acquire the Creator’s mind and achieve His level. but only as it is perceived within us. Although what we see outside of us is not reality. but also acquire His wisdom. there is some kind of photo camera that draws everything that we see.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R The same is true with us. they see everything in the Giver. The same is true in relation to Divine wisdom. the Creator designed our brain in such a way that. as though they all exist within Him. to get complete and clear knowledge. in the rear part of our brain. Do not be surprised by the fact that you will find similar examples in the Creator’s governance of this material world. we should still be grateful that the Creator made this mirror in our brain that allows us to see and to comprehend everything that is outside us. Why is this so? By studying ourselves and the outside world and thanks to the difference between these two states we have an opportunity to develop. 34. like a special mirror. In spite of all the changes that happen inside of the receiving Souls. as it were. for example. to measure every subject inside and outside. by feeling ourselves and the Creator Who is. That is. He gave us the capacity to learn. playing and interacting with us. Moreover. not what really exists outside us. Therefore. By doing so. Take our vision. When we see the enormous world before us in all its magnificence.
the situation when Malchut descends and spreads to the created beings. perfect world. in ourselves. creates this picture inside itself. By correcting it. is basically a projection of the Creator's light on Malchut. 35. and "The Book of Zohar" will show us how we can fill our Souls correctly. we can also correct the world in which we live. inadequate perception. any researcher of the Upper World knows without doubt that everything is only within them. Malchut exists only 82 . which includes all worlds and Souls. and is the root of all the Kelim. rather. we will enter the sensation of the Upper Realm and the Creator. every sensible person knows precisely that everything we see is only inside our brain. Although they see all images in the Creator. Although we practically see everything in front of us. becomes visible to all of them in accordance with their perception and imagination. This is because man should be engaged in creating inner images. If we succeed to correct our perception of the world. The picture that we perceive in Malchut is the Creator's picture. let alone people. and in what we will later see in the Upper Worlds. They even prohibit depicting nature.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R edge and all pleasures in the plan of creation. and that everything that happens around us is a result of our false. and not in the Giver. The Torah laws forbid making any images. and our existence in it. That is to say. The same is true with the Souls. what we see in the surrounding world. We need to realize that we exist in the absolutely corrected. The meaning of the saying is that the Sefira Malchut. In other words. Other than that. judge by the example. There is a saying in Kabbalah: “I will know You from within myself.” The time has come for us to begin adjusting our perception of both inner and outer reality. The matter does not concern Malchut as it is in its own place. but.
before the Creator created the picture of the world and gave it a form. All of them can be subdivided into five parts in accordance with the Creator's ineffable Name. we become a part of the Upper simple light. or holy names are nothing but imprints of our Kelim in the Creator's simple light. various forms of His manifestation in us. 248 comprise our properties of bestowal (Galgalta ve Eynaim). Yetzira. Of them. we might find a contradiction in what was said above. He was the only one that existed in the world without any form or image. At first glance. 36.. who are you going to compare Me with?" Indeed. Yetzira..e. This is the correct perception of the universe. whereas here it is said that they come from Beria (Bina) and below. and 365 constitute our properties of reception (AHP). In the Worlds of Assiya. This happens because the Soul consists of 613 Kelim. Earlier it was said that all the forms emanate only from the Sefira Malchut to the receivers. whether in the World of Assiya. which we have to correct. This is why man is always called "Adam". That is why all hints that are contained in the letters. which exists on the level where one can project His image on himself. Hence. as we rise from the Worlds of BYA to the World of Atzilut and elevate the entire universe with us. it turns out that in whatever world or on whatever level I may be. I always expose my Malchut to the Creator's projected image. or Beria. This is a kind of the Creator's prototype. Afterwards. He projects Himself onto us in such a way that the four letters of His Name form a four-phase superposition on our 613 properties. i. dots.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R with regard to the receivers.e. 83 . in your perception and imagination. i. and not by itself. The person who attains the Creator in this world perceives Him as some image. and Beria we always attain His images. The Creator says: "In spite of the fact that I appear to you in your properties.
When they are called “Keter-Atzilut-Beria-Yetzira-Assiya” their task is to distinguish between the Kelim “de Panim” that are called “Keter-Atzilut” (Keter. and the Kelim “de Achoraim” called Beria-Yetzira-Assiya” (Bina-Tifferet-Malchut). All the Kelim come not from the first Ten Sefirot . You should know that the Ten Sefirot KaHaBTuM have many names in the book of Zohar in accordance with their numerous functions. Hochma. 37. forms and images come only from Behina Dalet. but saw that the world could not exist.Keter. the Kelim of Malchut became rooted in Sefira Bina. Bina had neither form nor image. Bina. In accordance with that. So it continues: “…but after He had given this form to the structure of “Adam Elion”. the Creator created the world based on the property of judgment. Since the Zohar hints at the interaction between Malchut and Bina. and made its way into Sefira Bina (the property of mercy). the properties of mercy and restriction interacted in the World of correction.but from Malchut. This means that Sefira Malchut (of restriction) ascended. which means it results from the interaction made for the correction of the world. “Yud” is Hochma. and Tifferet . Such a division results from the interaction between the properties of judgment and mercy. it says they are in the World of Beria. from this moment on. even in relation to receivers.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R In reality.Hochma). the sages said: “Originally. the Sefira Bina is called “Beria. He is called HaVaYaH. the Zohar says that the genuine roots of images (Kelim) are in Malchut. In addition. “Hey” is Bina. so He made his interaction with mercy”. Thus. “Vav” 84 . which is Malchut. However. But after that. He descended and “dressed” in it. which means the Ten Sefirot KaHaBTuM because the tip of letter “Yud” is Keter.” Before this interaction happened.
The Torah describes the Partzuf Adam. 38. which means that Adam. It is said: “He gave a form to the structure “Adam Elion”. After her interaction with the restrictive properties of Malchut. Since a Soul had 613 spiritual Kelim that are called “248 organs and 365 tendons. her Rosh is Keter: . . . 85 . It happens not in its place.” It has five parts – the five books of Torah. Sefirot. in the World of Beria (Bina). man’s form consists of 613 Kelim resulting from the Kelim of a Soul.Adam de Assiya. This is called “Adam Elion” for there are three Adamic properties in the Sefirot: .Adam de Yetzira. where the Kelim start and continue to places where the Souls are. it is subdivided into five parts in accordance with 4 letters of HaVaYaH: . This was done so that the Creator could be attained through His properties. which represents the 248 affirmative commandments corresponding with “248 organs” and 365 negative commandments corresponding with “365 tendons. This is called “the image of Adam Elion”. . .Tip of the letter “Yud”. from Beria (Bina) and below.Adam de Beria.From Tabur to Sium Raglin there are two Sefirot: Tifferet and Malchut. Here is an explanation of what was said above. images and forms descend to the Souls. and came down and “dressed” into this man’s form. and last letter “Hey” is Malchut.From Chazeh to Tabur is Bina.From Peh to Chazeh is Hochma.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R is Tifferet. but only where the receivers are.” Thus.
Always remember that the Zohar says there are no images in the place of Sefirot Bina and Malchut. but not Keter and Hochma. we call givers “Adam” as well. Tifferet. we find that each of the five Sefirot KaHaBTuM has three Sefirot: Bina. 39. The letter “Hey” of the name HaVaYaH that represents the Kli Hochma. both Keter and Hochma. Since the matter concerns the World of Beria. The tip of the letter “Yud” and the letter “Yud” in the name of HaVaYaH hint at the presence of the Kelim in Keter and Hochma. In accordance with that. and Malchut. Since all these Sefirot give the Kelim garments for the Souls to attain the Creator with the help of light descending to them within certain limits in accordance with their 613 organs. you need to understand that the tip of the letter “Yud” which refers to the Kelim of Keter. it is confirmed: “Adam Elion”. they are the color white there. Hochma. which refer to the five Sefirot KaHaBTuM. points to Bina and TuM that are included in Keter. Keter and Hochma do not have any image that can be related to any dotted letter or the four letters of HaVaYaH. the matter only concerns the three Sefirot Bina. It should not be difficult for you to understand because all four letters of HaVaYaH and the tip of the letter “Yud” are the five Kelim that are always called “letters”. Bina. However.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R However. Tifferet. included even 86 . and in Malchut. only in the receivers’ place. from the point of essence of the Sefirot. The fact is that when it is said that “images” and “properties” representing Kelim that begin from the World of Beria and below. From that. you should know that Sefirot are included in each other. However. Thus. points to Bina and TuM that are included in Hochma. There are Ten Sefirot KaHaBTuM in Keter. Tifferet and Malchut from which Kelim originate.
included even Keter and Hochma.” In accordance with that: - Adam on level Keter is called “Adam Kadmon. • Sefira Gevura is called Elokim. • Sefira Hesed is called El. albeit it is spelled differently. • Two Sefirot – Netzah and Hod are called Tzvaot. There are ten Names of the Creator. From that perspective. We are speaking about the ten none erasable Names. which are correspondingly imprinted on our ten basic properties – Sefirot. have Kelim in them. • Sefira Tifferet is called HaVaYaH (simple one. • Sefira Yesod is called Chai. they resemble one another. There is no need to memorize these names. • Sefira Bina is called HaVaYaH. therefore they are designated by the same name. while Bina and TUM.” Adam on level Hochma is called “Adam de-Atzilut.P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R in Bina and ZON. 40.” Adam on level Bina is called “Adam de-Beria. • Sefira Keter is called Ekie. later on we will understand how they originated. • Sefira Malchut is called Adni.” Adam on level Tifferet is called “Adam de-Yetzira. different from Bina). • Sefira Hochma is called Yud-Key. Adam really consists of five parts.” Adam on level Malchut is called “Adam de-Assiya”. This is because Bina and TuM perform an act of bestowal in each of the five Sefirot. Since Tifferet and Bina are on the middle line. They are called none erasable because if the scribe who writes 87 . have no Kelim. which is concealed in the name “Merkava de Adam.
P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R
the Torah scroll makes a mistake in one of them, the entire segment
must be destroyed; it is forbidden to correct such mistakes.
What does that mean in our world? Man cannot perceive the
world's picture correctly, unless his Ten Sefirot are properly attuned. As
with a violin, one can play it only if its strings are properly tuned up.
Thus, they form a certain interrelation with one another, each one of
them being in its standard, correct state.
Similarly, if at least one of the Creator's Names resonates in us
incorrectly, i.e., one of our properties will not be completely similar to
His, we will not be able to perceive His manifestation. That is to say, being made up of Ten Sefirot, we perceive the Creator's action in ten of His
At the same time, when we attain all Ten Sefirot and completely fill
them with the Creator's image, an amazing phenomenon occurs. All Ten
Sefirot merge, the boundaries between them disappear, and they form the
general, Infinite, white light of Atzilut, where we ascend upon attaining
all the levels of the Worlds of BYA.
This is what Baal HaSulam writes in his "Preface to the Book of
Zohar". This "Preface" deals with the limitations, which exist between
us and our perceived reality. All that we experience within us is only
perceived in our egoistic Kelim to the extent of their correction. If our
properties coincide with those of the Creator, we will be able to understand and sense Him better and better. It is the same as when a radio
receiver picks a certain outside wave only because its own wave contour
is identical to the outer wave.
In other words, only our equivalence of form with the Creator will
enable us to enter the true universe and exist in it. At the beginning, we
need to do it in our 613 Kelim, subsequently felt as Ten Sefirot. Afterwards, they are felt as a single whole, the Creator's general manifestation
regarding Malchut. When Malchut finally becomes similar to the Creator,
P R E FA C E T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R
it completely merges with the light in its nine first Sefirot. All images fade
and disappear, whereas we become one with the Infinite, white light.
41. Unless the Creator’s light spreads onto all created beings by way
of filling these holy Sefirot, how can the creatures be honored to
know Him, and to fulfill the following: “The earth will be filled with
knowledge of the Creator?”
An explanation is that the Creator tricks the Souls into believing
that all the changes in the Sefirot happen in Him. The purpose of
that was for the Souls to get to know and comprehend Him. Thus,
the saying, “The earth will be filled with knowledge of the Creator”
is going to be realized.
42. And woe to them who compare the Creator with any kind of
measure, or say that this measure is in the Creator, even if it is a
spiritual measure which appears to the Souls. This is especially so
if it is a material measure that stems from mortal human nature,
whose foundation is dust.
Although the Souls perceive all the changes that occur in them as taking place in the Giver, it should be clear to them that there are neither changes nor measures in Him. He is Divine, and it only seems to
them, as it is said: “I am similar to what prophets have said.”
Woe to them who err, because they will immediately lose their divine
abundance, let alone the fools who see Him as an embodiment in
flesh and blood, transient and flawed.
TO THE BOOK OF ZOHAR
his Introduction is one of four explanations that Baal HaSulam
wrote for the “Book of Zohar” to furnish a person with an outlook
on evolution, to show where this book leads, and to what goals and
heights it should elevate him. In this book, Baal HaSulam researches the
deepest layers of the universe. He tries to explain the properties of our
reality, to unveil its depth and the extent of our comprehension of it. He
tells us how we can change it and ascend to a different, Upper Reality.
Most importantly, this Introduction speaks about our active part
in this process. It is very good and commendable to be simply studying
Kabbalah. Yet, can we change anything with the help of this knowledge?
This is where the study should lead us. This is the only aspect of Kabbalah that should interest us.
“Introduction to the Book of Zohar” is a very deep, summarizing
text. While “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot” speaks of the
person’s path and the levels he ascends on his way to the Goal, this
composition is an immersion into the universe. As a submarine dives
into the ocean, so does the Zohar descend with us to the unimaginable
depths of reality.
As the article, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah” says, the
task of Kabbalah is to reveal the Creator to the person. The Creator created man and conceals Himself to let him rise to His level. Otherwise,
we would feel no need to reach out to Him, to grow and become similar
to Him. The Creator is like a loving mother who teaches her child to
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R
walk. She places him on his feet, and then moves slightly away to compel
the child to make a few steps towards her. She then moves farther away
to encourage him to make a few more steps and so on. This is how our
children grow, and we are supposed to grow in the same way with regard
to the Creator. We should always perceive His concealment as an appeal
to get closer to Him.
The book of Zohar expounds the profound processes that unfold
in us while we gradually reveal the Creator. This is called ascending the
ladder of the spiritual worlds. Kabbalah tells the person what he sees and
feels while gradually ascending this ladder of similarity to the Creator.
He can only be revealed to the extent of our equivalence with Him;
the more likeness there is between He and I, the better I can feel Him.
Therefore, it turns out that to be similar to the Creator is the same as to
feel or reveal Him.
1. In this introduction, my wish is to clarify issues that seem simple
at first. Everyone has tried to explain these issues, and much
ink has been spilled in these efforts (throughout the history of
humankind). Yet to this day, we have not reached a clear enough
knowledge in these matters.
The questions are as follows:
Both ancient and modern philosophers and scientists have been
puzzled by them.
What questions are these? They are fundamental and critical to
our essence and existence.
What is our essence?
Who are we? Are we animals or are we human? Are we intelligent
beings? Do we exist or only imagine that we exist? It is quite possible that
we are completely different than we imagine. In fact, when we look at
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R
any other small animal, such as a dog or a kitten, our impression about
it, about its nature, is completely different.
How can we objectively see ourselves as though we are looking from
outside? What does it mean to see from the outside? Starting from where
can we imagine ourselves? The question about our essence consists of
What is our part in the long chain of reality, of which we are but
We can see that we have gone through some states. This world has
gone through some states with or without our involvement. Alternatively, perhaps it exists by itself; or we somehow exist in it. Nevertheless, we
see everything from the perspective of historic consequence, the cause
and effect chain of reality.
Do we play any role? This chain exists for a reason, and so do we.
Do we exist parallel to the chain or inside of it? Do we determine the
development of this chain and its consequences? Can we influence reality or do anything about it? What is our role? The answer to these questions includes knowledge of all potential development, cause and effect,
beginning and end, all the processes, all the intermediate levels, and
knowledge about our potential impact in this process.
When we look at ourselves, we feel that we are so spoiled and low
that no one is more despicable than we are.
Baal HaSulam addresses here the particular inner attainment in
which we can actually perceive ourselves. We can feel our insignificance
and meanness with the help of the descending Surrounding Light, the
Makif, in direct proportion with the descending Upper Light. If we
the Upper Light demonstrates to us the insignificance of our essence. inclination to pleasures. “Ta’avah”. if He is perfect? Additionally. honor. This something is called our egoism. A lion kills only in order to fulfill his small desire to be sated. we feel that we are so spoiled and low that no one is more despicable than we are. are we perfect or imperfect? We have observed from Universal laws that imperfection does not emanate from perfection. we would think that we were supposed to have become the crown of everything. Perfection. if we look at the One who created us. and a desire to bestow mean. However. the additional egoism that elevates us above animals actually makes us lower than animals. and aspiration to honor. On the other hand. However. fame. Baal HaSulam says: When we look at ourselves. and “Kavod” – envy. Since they are above animal qualities. power. This is called “Kina”. Baal HaSulam tells us here about people who can roughly imagine what the Creator. humans want to destroy everyone. in addition to the animal essence. these aspirations and qualities are praiseworthy. we have something that is above animal existence. 94 . and knowledge. egoism in humans is so much higher than for its own sake. Therefore. Animals do not have these aspirations.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R genuinely attract it with the help of the group and serious study. their common natural utilization puts us below all other levels. how did it happen that a perfect Creator created such a mean being that is so much meaner than the rest? What is He like. These aspirations bring a person to a level above the animal. Animals kill other animals because it is integrated in them at the level of instinct. higher than everything. because an excellent Creator should only perform excellent actions. Consequently. Yet. It is based on our aspirations to wealth. What is the actual matter here? The matter is that.
Many believe that the world is governed by a single “evil force”. Fundamentally. the higher the rising? Nothing is comprehended unless a Kli has been comprehended first. Baal HaSulam provokes us with questions that have not yet materialized for us. opposition to the Creator. so that there is nothing higher than He. All our questions come from discrepancies and oppositions to his state. a suffering. He demonstrates a difference between these states that are called questions. emptiness. are destined to spend all the days of their existence in suffering and grief? (Now he is asking at our level). 95 . Nevertheless. Only then. they have been already resolved for him. our mind does not agree to that. why. he offsets what he conceived on the upper. do we see that every step of the way consists of continuous falling and rising. However. If that was not done in kindness. from the very beginning. He does this from the foundation of these two points where the first point is he being at the state of the Creator and another point is we at our current state. and feeling of worthlessness. Kabbalists tell us about the essence of the Creator. They are on a different level of attainment.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Fourth question: Our mind makes us acknowledge the Creator's absolute kindness and that He only performs kindness. could it at least have been done with less evil (He created us)?! Why did He create us to harm? In addition. perfect level to our imperfect condition. how could He create so many forms which. so that there is nothing higher than He. inferiority. that the lower the falling. Hence. So he says: Our mind makes us acknowledge (from its perception) the fact that the Creator is all kind and performs only kindness. even now when we are just beginning to study the path we must take in order to reach the Purpose of creation. follow the revelation of the Creator and unification with Him. depression.
These questions can only be raised and cleared up by someone at His level as compared to ours. temporary. where the Creator is. 96 . because an excellent Creator should only perform excellent actions. to conceive where we are. he uses this explanation in his Introduction to this book. This is our challenge. He states that. He wishes to explain to us why it is necessary to have this difference and how we may reach perfection. Baal HaSulam tells us about the discrepancies between these two levels. something without beginning or end (our “final state”. he partially explains it. That is why we need to study the book of Zohar. The five questions that he addresses here concern our state with regard to the Creator’s. Hence. as conceived by Baal HaSulam)? How can this be? The fifth question appears similar to the third one. higher than everything. he raises these questions in order to comprehend them.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Why should it all be done this way? Why were we created inferior? Why should we comprehend perfection from our inferior state? Fifth question: How could insignificant. we feel that we are so spoiled and low that no one is more despicable than we are. we will discover that not only must we understand these questions while studying this Introduction. but also actualize them within ourselves and subsequently use them to climb to the level where we need to be." Here he says something similar: When we look at ourselves. but actually. and how to overcome this chasm between us. Why does he raise these questions? In this Introduction. we feel that we are so spoiled and low that no one is more despicable than we are. "When we look at ourselves. During these lessons. we would think that we were supposed to have become the crown of everything. If we look at the One who created us. and impure forms come from the Infinite.
where the subject is not a “forbidden area”. This is what Baal HaSulam does in his studies. in advance.e. for what do we need preliminary studies? We need them to understand these questions accurately. if we study what we are able to attain. find the answers. "Many people (in the course of history) have attempted to disclose these questions. This can in no way be comprehended by our mind. we need to make some preliminary inquiries. we can understand the questions: “What is the Essence?”.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R 2. So. “What is our role in a chain of reality?”. 97 . it is necessary to put us in an unambiguous position with regard to them. Since we cannot comprehend the Creator’s essence. Yet in the end. perhaps. In general. This is unattainable for us at our current level of development. we should approach them in a different way. Moreover. we should not study it. he answers this: …which can in no way be comprehended by our mind. He says: In order to clear all this up comprehensively. In order to comprehensively clear all this up. i. for it is said. The compulsory field of research is the study of the Creator’s actions. the essence of the Creator. in advance. the essence of the Creator… Why is it forbidden for us to study the essence of the Creator? Further. we have neither thought nor concept of Him.. meaning. the only thing we should do is study all that we can possibly comprehend. and much ink has been spilled". we have to carry out certain studies where the subject is not a “forbidden area”. hence. and actually become fully aware of them within ourselves? In order to look at these questions and correctly move towards their realization. the questions have remained unanswered. In other words. we will approach the incomprehensible area. while the Creator is perfect?” and so on. the essence of the Creator. How can we resolve these questions. and “Why are we defective. Therefore.
then the inner body of my soul. “By Your actions I will know You”. “Know the Creator and serve Him”. If we are willing to do this. This is called “nine of my reversed Sefirot become similar to nine of His direct Sefirot”.e. which can in no way be comprehended by our mind.” I will not achieve anything this way. all of my desires. my desires. His actions. and then all those conditions and qualities that exist in Him will be formed in me.e. It is also said. similar to all of the Creator’s actions. If I begin my exploration of Him straightforwardly. is the study of the Creator’s actions. the body of the Partzuf will be formed. If I make my body. Subsequently. the Rosh of the Partzuf. I will be adapting the correction internally.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Here he says: … the Creator’s essence. something that precedes His qualities and actions. and His instructions. The Toch (inner part) or Sof (end) of the Partzuf will be similar to the Creator’s influence on me. I will place myself in likeness to Him and this will be called “I perceive His actions and serve Him”. Partzuf Thus we can come to an understanding of the Creator. I can only comprehend and attain the Creator if I become similar to Him... what kind of inquiries should we make? 98 . i. the Creator’s instruction). hence we have no thought and concept about Him…and the compulsory field of research (i. work “for the sake of Creator”. this will be called “philosophy. I will attain Him by adapting my actions to His and by becoming similar to Him. It allows me to reach complete balance with the Creator and to grasp His thoughts. If the person specifically acts in this manner. As we are told. From the Guf (body) of the Partzuf I will rise to its Rosh (head). I will be able to understand His intentions. he reveals in his study the opportunity to ascend from the level of the creation to the level of the Creator. If I attain Him.
study it freely. How can it be that something suddenly appeared from nothing. something that did not exist in the Creator before it was formed. Do not imitate the philosophers who have “spilled much ink” for thousands of years. how is it possible to imagine that we appeared not from Him. The most important thing is not to know. where we want to be. Suddenly we feel that we can only understand something new if it penetrates us from within. we will know. no starting point? Should not there be a beginning? If so. out of nowhere? What does it mean “out of nowhere”? Has He thought of this? Has He made any plans? What has induced Him to this? From where has he taken the material – thoughts. Nothing has come out of it! We should reproduce all of these actions within ourselves. something new. becomes our nature. feel. but from nothing? I recommend that you stop and try to remember all I say. Do not attempt to memorize anything! We cannot possibly remember anything of what we learn. How can anyone in his right mind understand that there is nothing that was not in the Creator? Simple common sense makes us acknowledge that. There is no need to be tense.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R First Inquiry: How can we see creation as something newly formed. Please do not do this! You should take it easy or it will not enter you. and actions to make the creation? Was there a point in Him from which it all began? How can it be if there was nothing within Him. When they become our inner properties. Do not make an inner effort to adapt the material and put everything within you on the right shelves. it has to be within Him in some form. One cannot give if he does not have that which he is giving. but to at99 . While studying try to concentrate on what we wish to achieve. and see it all. with love. Otherwise. feelings. If the Creator creates something. our useless attempts to sort this data will fail.
To this end. which would elevate us to these states. This is where our focus must be. He has created something that is completely not within Him. to adapt His actions in ourselves and become similar to Him. We are yet to come to this conclusion. This is what we should be thinking about during our lessons. meaning something new that is not in Him? If we say that He can do everything. In that case. He can create something from nothing. from the aspect of the Creator’s almightiness. but is a new formation? So what was it that the Creator decided to create. “By Your actions I will know You”. the Creator has created something from nothing. Then the question arises. we try to draw on ourselves the Surrounding light. what kind of reality can we refer to as having no place in the Creator. The result will be as King David says. So let us stop racking our brains in vain and try activating our hearts. Then the question arises. but is a new formation? Suppose that we accept our first inquiry as an axiom: yes. He certainly can create something from nothing. Second Inquiry: Can you say that. meaning something new. which is not in Him at all. then of course. what kind of reality can we refer to as having no place in the Creator.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R tract the light of correction. we read what the author wrote while being on the high level of attainment where he is merged with the Creator. He instructs us to “know the Creator and serve Him”. but for now let us admit that we have already accomplished it. By aspiring to one goal. and most importantly the point in them. He wrote his books not to enlighten poor philosophers or us. something that is not within Him and in which He felt the sudden need? Does it not follow that there is an absence of perfection in Him? That something was 100 .
The difference is that He is the "whole" and the soul is a "part". if He was perfect before and afterwards. a tool. it is a small particle. Thus. Besides this.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R missing. when it is within us. Therefore. obviously this new “creation” has nothing to do with perfection. Third Inquiry: The Kabbalists say that the human soul is a part of the Creator. and now this something is in demand? Alternatively. but it is a small part from Above. causing the separation of the "part" from the "whole". This resembles a stone carved from a rock. There is a person within whom there is an animal soul. there is no difference between Him and the soul. a vital force that sustains alike both animals and us. we have a tiny particle of the Creator Himself. we must ask: Although a stone carved from the rock is separated from it by an axe made for that purpose. a material force that splits a “part” from the “whole”. is this part completely detached from Him? 101 . There is no difference between the stone and the rock except that the rock is a "whole" and the stone is a "part". why has He made something new? If this is so. how can one imagine that the Creator separates a part from His essence to become detached from Him. So what is the spiritual axe that cuts a part from the whole? Why does the carved off part remain unchanged with the same properties that are in the Creator? Does the Creator suffer form this process? A piece was cut from Him! Was that part of his perfection reduced? Is it possible that He became imperfect? Does He lack anything? What is the connection between a part (a soul) separated from the Creator and the Creator Himself? Alternatively. it is already a soul. meaning a soul. The soul is within us. When it is above. to the point that it can only be understood as part of His essence? An Axe is a Kli.
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R 3. it means that they have one quality in which they are similar and join. What connection can exist between them if they are opposite? We say that if spiritual properties are opposite. they are equivalent. How can this be? The Creator creates and sustains Klipot while at the same time being completely sepa102 . If they completely overlap. If they are partially superimposed. much less sustained by Him? The Kabbalists wish to make our life easier. Klipot are born and sustained by the Creator. it means that some of their qualities are similar to each other. Here Baal HaSulam speaks about the system of impure forces (Klipot) that are absolutely opposite to the Creator. He gives birth to this system of impure worlds and constantly sustains it with His purity. so they tell us everything in advance. If they adjoin each other in some point. Fourth Inquiry: Since the system of impure forces and the Klipot are so far from the Creator’s purity that nothing farther remote can be conceived. The creation is initially opposite to the Creator and separated from Him. whereas in fact they are completely separated from each other. In addition to the usual questions they ask many others. This is what happens with impure forces. how can they be emanated from the Creator. There is the Creator and the Klipot. there can be no contact between them. which we would never think of.
The body itself is neutral. After that. Fifth Inquiry refers to the “resurrection of the dead”. What does it mean. The person considers his “desires with egoistic intentions” to be dead. wants to bury them. we mean rising of the dead bodies (desires). By “resurrection of the dead”. become dead. because they have egoistical intentions. we mean bestowal or the intention of bestowal. the desires go through corrections.” means to be completely cut off from the light. This process is called a resurrection of the dead bodies. “doomed to perish” and “to be buried”? By the body. Baal HaSulam says there is a state called “resurrection of the dead”. for the sake of bestowal. we mean the Guf of the Partzuf or desire. By “the body”. it is doomed to perish and to be buried. Since the body is so despicable. This question demands an explanation. The body (of desires) does not change. we mean desires from the moment of birth.. We should agree upon definitions: by “the soul”. i. the intention for one’s own sake (which is the intention of the Klipot) is transformed into the intention for the sake of the Creator. He is neither able nor willing to use them.e. The intention “for one’s own 103 . “Doomed to perish. the intention “for the sake of the Creator”. Only the intention does.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R rated from them. There is the egoistical intention “for one’s own sake” or the screen that generates Ohr Hozer (Reflected light).
This is my first state. The intention “for the sake of the Creator” is called Kedusha. If we achieve the intention “for the sake of the Creator”. that will be the resurrection. While reading the text without commentaries. Let us suppose that I have a desire with initially egoistic intentions. My second state is when under the influence of the Higher Light that I draw upon myself by reading Kabbalistic texts. Let us look at what Baal HaSulam writes. everything for my own sake.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R sake” is called Klipa. We need to come to the point when the intention “for one’s own sake” will be dead in us. Why do we have to stay in Klipot until we consider them dead and bury them. I sense that they (desires) are dying and reach the condition when I am com104 . one may think of fairy tales about the resurrection of dead bodies that arise from the graves and wander around. but rather the reason why we have to go through all these transformations. these desires begin to gradually leave me. until they are completely decomposed? We can use the body (desire) and start working on this desire “for the sake of the Creator” only after we free ourselves from the egoistical intention. I begin to feel my condition as evil and it slowly comes out of me. Why then does the body return and rise at the “resurrection of the dead”? Could the Creator not delight the souls without it? Baal HaSulam’s question concerns neither the body nor the soul.
nothing happens to it. I always have 620 desires in my body. and then wish to be completely free of them and finally begin to acquire good intentions? Baal HaSulam says: Why then does the body return and rise at the “resurrection of the dead”? Could the Creator not delight the souls without it? Why can we not receive good properties from the beginning and be one with the Creator at once? Why do we have to discover Him through bad properties? 105 . Why are we bound to receive bad intentions “for our own sake” to begin with? Why should we see them as bad. It remains the same. By “the body” we always mean the desire. On my next level. The body always consists of the same desires. I begin to adopt the Creator’s properties and aspire to Him. By and large. we can easily understand this. The question always arises about another matter.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R pletely free of them. only the intention changes. This is called resurrection of the body.
Although we say that the bodies. We ought to understand why it is important to Him that they will not be mistaken for other bodies… Someone should know if the body is different or not. Even more bewildering is what our sages said of the dead bodies that are destined to rise with their flaws. while there are still remnants of it. Besides the resurrection of the body. and resurrection refer to intentions. only after that will the Creator correct and revives it. so that they will not be mistaken for others. The problem is different: unless the bodies remain in their flaws. the Zohar says that before the body rots entirely.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Furthermore. desires. As it is said. When we reach the stage called “resurrection of the dead bodies” (our dead desires). That is until all intentions “for one’s own sake” disappear. death. the soul will not be resurrected and merged with the Creator in the similarity of properties. Transformation of the intention “for one’s own sake” into the intention “for the sake of the Creator” is clear too. the Creator then cures their flaws. we clearly understand that this is our body and nothing has changed in it except one thing: the realization that we rid ourselves from our past intentions and now we wish to obtain the intention for the sake of the Creator. there should be a realization of flaws. we 106 . When they are dead and we have none of them left in us. the soul cannot ascend to its place in Heaven. There arises a question: Why should we go through it all? Mortification of our intentions seems clear enough. we will not be able to make them similar to the Creator. one still finds it extremely difficult to perceive it correctly. We ought to understand why it is so important to the Creator that they will not be mistaken for other bodies that he would recreate their flaws and then cure them. The Creator will then cure their flaws.
I remain empty. my egoistical intention comes back to life. I get rid of them and remain empty. I have no desire to be in any way connected with them. I correct just 1%. have them manifest within us in order to give each of them up and correct it. Previously all of my past intentions were 100% negative. While excavating each of my egoistical intentions from the ground I say: “Here is my true original property – the intention for my own sake. so I eliminate them. although not the entire 100%. I then resurrect them. Now I will transform this intention “for my own sake” into the intention “for the sake of the Creator”. After the Tzimtzum.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R should then retrieve them. In what form? I revive them in a negative form. I have gained strength and acquired a screen. i.e. In other words. on which I perform a Tzimtzum (Restriction). and let them “decay”.. What does this process look like? I initially have egoistical intentions. because I need to make a Tzimtzum on the way. 107 . I stop using any of my intentions. how can I correct them in me? After I buried all of these dead intentions and they decomposed completely I now begin to resurrect them. and gradually reach 100%. and I correct it into a positive one.
. Furthermore. Resurrection of the dead should take place in him after he executed Tzimtzum and obtained the screen. Since the body is so despicable. I should admit that all of them are my natural properties... while there are still remnants of it (I will not be able to fill myself with the light). 2 – I remain empty. This includes a complete realization of evil. Fifth Inquiry refers to the “resurrection of the dead”. it is doomed to perish and to be buried. of my primordial egoistical desires. I should realize that I would never be able to cure these flaws by myself.. 108 . Why then does the body return and rise at the “resurrection of the dead” (after I buried it and it remained empty)? Could the Creator not delight the souls without it? No. The Creator will then cure their flaws. perform Tzimtzum Aleph. the soul cannot ascend to its place in Heaven. Let us read it again. They can only be cured if I realize them as evil and ask the Creator for a remedy.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R 1 – I come to the realization of evil. The person must go through these stages.. Even more bewildering is what our sages said of the dead bodies that are destined to rise with their flaws. He cannot. Why should I revive all of my negative desires? This seemingly returns me to my negative properties. the Zohar says that before the body rots entirely (until all of my desires die and rot in the ground). so that they will not be mistaken for others.
We just need to absorb all that we read. This effort will stimulate the emanation. conditions. Such an attainment can only be achieved if we ascend to it and become a part of that level”. You should simply try to rise there with your desire. the light will descend upon us from the level on which he explains it all. not with the head. 40). objects. actions and states. We should comprehend the resurrection of the dead in this manner alone. that the Upper Worlds and this corporeal world and everything in them were not created but for him (The Zohar. [The Kabbalists] obliged man to believe that the world had been created for him (Sanhedrin. While studying “The Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”. and not on the level of this world. It says. Man is in the center of the universe. we read the well-known paragraph 155. When we speak about spiritual forms. that for this small human… 109 . 37). little by little we become accustomed to Baal HaSulam’s writings and try to understand the flow of his thoughts. Sixth Inquiry Our sages said that man is the center of reality. It does not matter how much of it we comprehend. let us try to be on that level. One must learn to work with the heart. Therefore. “The Ohr Makif shines upon the person who wants to attain the higher level.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R We ought to understand why it is so important to the Creator that they will not be mistaken for other bodies that he would recreate their flaws and then cure them (why should these desires be the same as before?). the release of the Higher Light that will elevate us there. To the extent of our desire. and the way it should be realized. Our will to be on that level is called “understanding”. “attainment”. We simply wish to be close to him. It is seemingly hard to grasp. Tazriya. Leave your “head” in this world.
The Kabbalists say that he is directly connected with them. in this universe. the Creator troubled Himself to create all this for him. all of this is created for man. It depends on man in what condition they will be. In the upshot.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R By his material size. man. Yet why would man want all that? Vast. endless galaxies and spiritual worlds: why is all of this necessary? If it is made for man. for what does he need this entire Universe? Concerning man’s value in comparison with the Universe. Whatever level we take (vegetative. the only intelligent. man is utterly insignificant. and somehow establish contact with it. However. If we complete this research. Only by using it will he achieve the ultimate state. at some point he has to use it. In comparison with his poor nature. Is he in this state now? For what does he need it? What does he gain from it? Why was it created for man? Why did the Creator make it so that the person cannot comprehend what he can gain if he rules over the entire universe and all the Upper Worlds? He feels no need of this to be happy. it is a tiny disappearing particle in the Infinity. animal or human). whose height is immeasurable. Baal HaSulam says: He who grasps no more than a wisp of this world's reality. yet the worthless being in our universe. However. he is more selfish and evil. is the center of all worlds! He is destined to command them in the future. So what is his advantage? Moreover. we will be able to answer the questions that Baal HaSulam raised 110 . our world in comparison with Upper Worlds. where is he on this Earth with its various cataclysms? Where is he in our small (compared to others) galaxy. in this entire infinite universe? If we take our entire universe. much less of the Upper Worlds. manage it. he does not represent something special. This is the last inquiry we have to make. and by his power in this world.
we should be sure to know what is going to be at the end. If we want to understand something. not from its beginning.. Afterwards.. Could we possibly harm ourselves if we had known the outcome in advance? How could we do anything if we had not anticipated some benefit? Our problem is that we never know the end in anything. don’t do that”. How can we agree with this thought of Baal HaSulam: in order to understand these questions and inquiries one should start by looking at the end of the action. The only thing we know in this small animate world is to give advice to our children: “do this. In addition.e. 4. This is only the Foreword to the book. We normally act without listening to others. This is true. For nothing can be understood in the middle of the process. but only at its end. one should start by looking at the end.. even though we know exactly the right answer. The purpose is the result for the sake of which the creation was created. at the purpose of creation. The Creator looks at us from “the end of creation”. while reading the Book of Zohar. Yet how can we know this? In our world. This is a necessary condition. we will know what we should do with the help of the book in order to attain all of these states.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R at the beginning of this Introduction and understand why we need the Book of Zohar. the entire humanity does the same. In our life. we do not know about any state beforehand. For nothing can be understood in the middle of the process. In order to understand these questions and inquiries.e. they do not listen to us. i. 111 . at the purpose of creation. but only at its end. However. i. and our children do not listen to us. we cannot see the end of the next level or its consequences.
There I am a big altruist. I am obliged to ascend to the next state “plus one”. Yet how can I achieve that? “The Study of the Ten Sefirot” describes in the following way: our spiritual advancement depends on the condition called “Olamcha Tireh be Hayecha” (lit. That is a perfect approach. 112 . with my intellect and knowledge. because it is higher. understanding and strength to rise above his egoistical desires. I am unable to do that in our world. Only then can I work on it (3). to the next level. everything that I have in me is opposite to this level because here I am a big egoist. The spiritual life does not tolerate things like that. In the initial position. and after that decide upon my actions (2).” and not “will receive”. I have no clue how to do this and I do not know what my condition is going to be pertaining to this level. the person can see the future world (his future state) from afar. to acquire “the desire to bestow” and to work on his correction. Every time I find myself in an initial position. because from the level I am on now. “Foreseeing the purpose of creation” and planning your actions and steps from that level is a compulsory condition. When he does. Even on this level. receive energy. he can justify his path. If I commence to act without knowing my next state. I cannot possibly know what is on the next level. It is said: “will see. we will never make any correct move and our spiritual life would be exactly the same as our life in this world.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R He conceives all of His with regard to us and draws us closer to Himself. but I do not desire it at all. I need to see it in advance (1). if I could know the result and see that I should not wish it. This is the only way to do things right. You will see your world in your life time). there would be nothing better. If I only knew in advance the results of what I am doing now and could make corrections to improve it. Without it. it will always be fallacious.
even if it did. this should become my purpose. I should acquire new strength. I would go down more and more. I would advance in the spiritual world in the same way as in our world. Therefore. I need to understand and accept it inside of me. However. I should ask the Creator to help me from Above. which I do not have. For nothing can be understood in the middle of the process. for only the insane can be found to act purposelessly. Every next step of mine would be less successful then the previous one.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Based upon the prerequisites. it is clear that there is no act without purpose. and properties. principles. and desires that I have in me I cannot imagine my future. but only at its end. Instead of ascending. That is why I somehow need to see my next level. making unsuccessful attempts all the time. at the purpose of creation. If I do not do that.e. i. it is not fitting for the exalted Creator to watch over their petty 113 . My nature would not allow me to do this. I know that there are “know-alls” who scorn the method of Kabbalah (who believe that they know better ways). I cannot do this with my present properties. I would not aspire to it. Baal HaSulam writes: One should start by looking at the end. Moreover. intellect. to give me the Ohr Makif. People always act with a purpose. I would keep away from it. saying the Creator created reality. so if I wish to ascend spiritually. so that in my third action I would move up to a higher level. It is so opposite to me that whatever I imagine as being there is unattainable. because of the worthlessness of the creatures.. but then left it to the mercy of fate.
who came before a most ugly man… Rabbi Shimon wrote “The Book of Zohar”. with all their admirable and contemptible attributes. Here Baal HaSulam offers us a parable from the Talmud (Ta’anit 20). Hence. turn to the Creator. Try to imagine. “Go and tell the craftsman who made me – how ugly is this instrument you have made”. But while we decide that the Creator. Having reached the level of his father. If we have some bad properties. This is a tale of Rabbi Elazar.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R little ways. If you have a grudge against some of your properties. since each act testifies to its performer. he found an even uglier. is the one who created and designed our bodies (our properties). Not only that. His son was one level higher than Rabbi Shimon was. it is clear to us that it is the Creator’s fault. this is the tailor’s fault. I would have never been able to rise to the next level. lower level in himself. if you had met some man who would create creatures precisely so that they would suffer and agonize their whole lives as we do. Why? Indeed. and therefore He has left us. who is perfect in every way. surely from under the hand of the perfect worker there cannot emerge an imperfect act. Had the Creator left me here. the son of Rabbi Shimon. it is not fitting for Him to watch over us. those who claim that because of our nothingness and lowliness. not wanting 114 . What fault is it of a bad garment. if some no-good tailor made it? Of course. but he cast them behind his back. He is the One who created them and He is the One who would correct them. do nothing more than publicly display their ignorance. It was so ugly that he could not help saying (to himself): “You are so ugly!” The man replied. without knowledge they have spoken. for it is not possible to comment on our nothingness and lowliness before we decide that we have created ourselves with all our tarnished natures.
it falls only on the Creator who created us and the nature within us. What is necessary for that? I repeat. we are actually worthy of our Maker. 115 . we are now in a perfect. For it is clear that He created us. How contemptible and low would you regard him? Can such a thing be thought of Him? The paradox we see here remains a paradox so far. For if you wish to find faults in our bodies. then behind all the excuses that you give yourself. It is as we have said that we have to contemplate the end of the act.. I hope that it will be a result of our studying. Indeed. but we feel just a tiny part of it that is called “this world”. we can rule over our entire world and the spiritual worlds that are in absolute harmony with the Creator. We are truly in this state. As the saying goes: “Do not show a fool an unfinished work”. He also knows all the ways that stem from our nature and the attributes He created in us. Then we will be able to understand it all. it instructs you how to correct yourself and achieve eternity and perfection. in complete likeness with Him. great state. This is why the work of your mind is insufficient. common sense… (Baal HaSulam tells us about it from the level he reached) dictates that we grasp the opposite of what appears to be on the surface…(what can be seen with the naked eye) and decide that we are truly noble and worthy creatures. we are so huge. Because of our lessons. 5.. You ought to desire your own changes with your heart and be on the level where Baal HaSulam is. so great. There is no end to our immeasurable importance. by no means should you consider Kabbalah as a usual science. He is teaching us now from that high level. to help them a little. you will see the answers to all the inquiries and questions and all that will be left for you to do is realize it all.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R even to look after them. Therefore. Indeed. Though Kabbalah is a science.
Our problem is in shortening time. Strive to make your friends from the group like fighters who are always standing for our idea. and without it. for myself. so that the Creator would correct you more intensely. who have the same purpose and agree to interact with you to join all forces to turn to the Creator. This additional strength can come from your friends. In the end. you actually do nothing. and of contemplation. All we can do is speed up the process with the help of a group. as my own properties. and more intense. we can only control time. Every group will get as much as it puts into the whole process. for the Goal. you will not recognize yourself. In just a few weeks.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Question: I see my defects and try to correct them. You will then see how many states you go through in one day and you will have enough strength to do that. I understand the method. Why? It is because eventually. as if I create this next level 116 . Question: Can I see the next step? I can see it. You will reach much higher levels! It depends on all groups and on each separate group. the only One who can correct them. more serious. under the influence of suffering. but only in a way that seeing it would not affect me negatively and I would not wish it selfishly. This is the only means available. the realization of all our actions comes to one thing: how to make our group more direct. You need additional forces to turn to the Creator. How can I adopt the next spiritual level in order to receive strength from it. by the way. you cannot accelerate your development. The question is how can I speed up the process? Everything you do is correct and. In the chain that we should pass. I turn to the Creator. you would have found it necessary to turn to the Creator. to have the method of correction so that it will not obstruct my personal ascent? I want it to remain in me.
yet we cannot see! We should accept it without seeing. It always reminds me of what I need to do. now luminous. To this end. we already begin to feel the Creator. repulsive or attractive He may seem in our feelings. If your group were constantly thinking about it. This is a very different kind of work. because it is our Creator. now devoid of the light. not because we see and like it. I need to get the material for my birth from the next level. Question: Why did the perfect Creator have to create something? Was it perhaps in order to achieve even greater perfection? He did it to bestow. It does not matter how we imagine it. Hence. we should ac117 . Our main task is to overcome this first level. but I acquire my spiritual form. In other words. There is no other alternative. This is how we see Him. Only group work can help. We should stick to it. we simply must hold on to Him all the time. you would always remember the goal and aspire to it. This is not the kind of an alarm clock you carry on your wrist and fail to pay attention to. when all its members constantly strive to stay on this higher level. It means desires and strength to turn them into properties of bestowal. Afterwards. giving birth to myself. A group can play a very important role in this. This way you would hold on to the AHP of the higher level so fast that it will pull you in against your will. I need to become similar to the Creator. I am still very small. Question: How can we see our future state? Without seeing. there is no ascent. We should constantly cling to Him like a leech regardless of how bad or good. I can only obtain this from the AHP of the higher level. I need a group alarm clock. because it comes from the Creator. This similarity means creating me on the next level. because reaching it means crossing the Machsom. We should be obsessed with the Creator.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R within myself. we perceive the AHP of the higher level in different variations. only this will lead us to the Goal. After all.
Baal HaSulam says that one sentence “The Creator created the world to bestow delight upon His creatures” contains the thought. Our sages said: “The Creator created the world for no other reason. We know it from our own experience in this world. Question: My next level is opposite to me. The greater is the will to receive. that is why he suggests that we should reflect on this phrase. and the end of the creation. Here is where we must place our mind and heart. and the lesser the will. we must bear in mind that.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R cept it in our vessels of bestowal. This is precisely why the revelation of the AHP of the higher level is defined as a spiritual downfall. in the intention “for the sake of the Creator”. because He desires it. I may sit at a table beautifully laid with most exquisite delicacies. the greater the pleasure. What he actually means is that at the beginning. Does it mean that what I can “see in this life” happens to be just a tiny part of the level closest to my properties? Otherwise. since the thought of creation is to bestow to His creatures. for it is the final aim of the act of the creation of the world. know His thoughts). the sages. the lesser the pleasure from reception. however noble or mean they may seem. but I can enjoy it 118 .e. but to bestow delight upon His creatures (i. on all their levels and in all their combinations. he immediately finds strength to master this AHP. There is no other motive in any of the Creator’s actions.. We need to ask for strength to accept it without seeing. who attain the Creator. 6. If the person realizes that. In addition. For the measure of any delight depends on the measure of the will to receive it. in the middle and at the end of all the actions that take place in the world. Apparently. they pursue only one goal: to bestow delight upon the creatures. the act. it will repel me and not attract me. He had to create in the souls a great amount of desire to receive that which He had thought to give.
that is not a part of His essence.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R only to the extent of my desire. the Creator preinstalled in us an enormous desire to receive delight perfectly matched to His desire to bestow. He necessarily created a measure of desire to receive from Him the bounty and delight that he had planned for them. we say that the Creator’s light fills the entire creation. and we shall feel it only in our desire for this light. Since the Creator’s desire is to bestow delight. Nevertheless. Once we have learned that. We happen to represent this will. Thus. that there was no need to create anything more than the will to receive. according to the thought of creation. it means that we have no desire whatsoever for this light of bestowal. but constitutes a new creation. For the great delight and the great desire to receive must go hand in hand. 7. we see that the will to receive certainly was not a part of His essence before He had created it in the souls. For we have learned what is the reality that one can base clear decisions on. Therefore. the thought of creation itself dictates the presence of an excessive will to receive in the souls. to fit the immense pleasure that the Creator thought to bestow upon them. we have come to understand the second inquiry to its fullness. we understand. For this new creation is sufficient for Him to fulfill the entire plan – to bestow delight upon someone (if this someone exists as a will to receive pleasure). because He can receive from no one. for the delight of bestowal. Therefore. It is quite natural that if we do not feel anything now. for its property. Along with that. He created a novelty that is absent in Him. 119 . and with complete clarity. He is in need of a will to receive delight. We are inside this ocean of light. Now that we know for sure that the thought of creation is to bestow to His creatures.
is only the "will to receive". Consequently. That is. thoughts and everything good or bad in our hearts and minds is no more than the sensation of the Creator. we just need to change our connection with Him. the Creator Himself. emanations. sustains and fills all. We wondered how it was possible to say about souls that they were a part of the Creator. We should never forget about it. This is all we can imagine. we have come to understand the third inquiry. bodies.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R However. except the perceived pleasure. There is nothing like it in the Creator. since they are already extracted from the great will to receive that is in the souls. whatever or whomever we may speak about. all that happens in us is a result of our sensation of the Creator. We will then define ourselves as being in the spiritual world. if we wish to change our state. They are emanated from His very first thought – to create beings and bestow delight upon them. on any levels of development (still. Thus.. i. He made it out of nothing. There is no difference between them except that one is 120 .e. 8. After the previously mentioned. plasmic or other forms of creation – they are all created and constitute no more than a desire to receive pleasure. spirits. vegetative. force. all the filling in the thought of creation. we clearly see that the whole matter of the renewed creation. Our life is but the Creator’s microscopic filling. be it information. not what He emanates. meaning all the benefits He had planned to render us. He has no need to recreate them. If we perceive Him clearer. stem directly from His essence. We are filled with one billionth of His light and we call it our life. like a stone that is carved from a rock. because our life. or anything that exists in our world and in all the others (from tiny insects to vast galaxies). reach a different level of contact with Him. whether fields. from start to end. Therefore. we will feel Him. animal and human nature).
this transformed attribute instantly (to the extent of the inconsistency between the two properties) begins to move away from the original one and may even become opposite to it. when each loves what the other loves and hates what the other hates (i. And if. if they refer to all of their qualities in the same way). just as an axe cuts and divides a physical object in two. For example. when two people love each other. whereupon it started moving farther and farther away from Him. it is not a question of near or far in this case. However. then to the extent that they differ in form. This is how the souls are separated from the Creator. until it became completely opposite to Him. On the other hand. Here the matter concerns the equivalence of properties. filled it with Himself. That is. we say that they are as far from one another as the east is from the west. we say that they merge with each other as one body. the Creator originally created a desire. so the spiritual change of form divides it in two. we may speak about affinity or estrangement between the souls. When they hate each other.. It seemed strange: it is one thing to say that the stone that is carved from the rock becomes separated by an axe made for that purpose.e. for 121 . they become lovers (similar in their properties) and merge with one another. We define people in our world as close or distant to one another by the proximity between their bodies. but can you say that about the Creator’s essence? In addition. meaning that one of them likes something that the other hates.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R a 'part' and the other is a 'whole'. they become distant and hateful to one another. with what were the souls divided from His essence and excluded from the Creator to become creatures? From the above we clearly understand that. If there is some change of form between them. If a certain property of mine begins to change with regard to another property.
the dissimilarity of properties acts as an axe in our world. share various properties. light. it is through this difference of properties that the soul separated from the Creator and became to be known as "created". dividing the material. meaning that everything one likes is hated by the other. we can conclude that precisely this dissimilarity of properties (egoistical desire to receive pleasure). and as it is already discovered by us that this property is not completely present in the Creator. in spirituality. both similar and dissimilar. which the souls acquired . The revelation of the Creator within us is the purpose of our studies.acts as an axe. If they are opposite. In that measure I shall receive the sensation of pleasure. I should think only of one thing: "How can I more closely resemble Him? To that extent I shall discover Him and I shall feel His filling in me. I need not pay attention to anything else . And from here we will understand that. eternity. Sometimes people quarrel. There is not a single common property that would connect them. life.neither to my parameters. nor to the parameters of the Creator. Such is our initial contrast with the Creator today. they are deemed as far away from each other as the east is from the west. they are opposite in form. No contact is possible unless these properties partially coincide. and everything he hates is liked by the other. nor to any additional conditions. since the [egoistical] desire to receive pleasure is inherent to souls. then they make up. Therefore. meaning from one end to the other. This way they test the contact between them. 9. Thus. 122 .I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R example. The degree of divergence is determined by the measure of dissimilarity of properties. there is not even the slightest chance for a contact. separating them from the Creator. and perfection”.
from what is existing. the will to receive). how opposite it is to the Creator. there is no difference from the Creator’s essence. while the other being its part. because they do not have a sensation of contrast to the Creator). it is still simply the desire to take pleasure. Then this property is discerned as independent. we cannot say that these are creations (and even more so. In the light of the Creator that is received in the Kli (the soul. That measure of light received inside of the desire to take pleasure. At that point. vegetative. However. separates from the Creator by a dissimilarity of properties. is as a stone chiseled from a rock. as it is the comprehension of the polar inverse to the Creator. takes the form of being separated from the whole. 123 . and is referred to as a soul. at the 7 billion "homo sapiens ". This is where the creation begins. it comes directly from the Creator as from something existent. we shall feel. (that part which was torn off from the Creator since I am not completely similar to Him). and animal levels. which has not left the Creator and was not separated from Him to become something existing quite independently. chopped off from Him with this axe (this change from the Creator). completely remote. everything that souls attain from the light of the Creator is received from the essence of the Creator. The first thing we must accomplish is this so-called "comprehension of evil" ((Akarat HaRah). In fact there is no difference between them except that one is the whole. it is impossible to speak of the existence of creation.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Until the soul feels its complete separation from the Creator. together with the property. At present. looking at the world around us. we can neither say that about the inanimate. cut off. It therefore already considers itself the creation. As soon as we reach it in all our primordial properties. we also lack this property. In fact. this analysis. Therefore. The entire distinction between the souls and the Creator’s essence is no more than that the souls are just a part of the essence of the Creator.
from our likening to Him. then another relationship becomes clear . open ourselves and let it shine in us. completely filled with the light of Infinity. and true condition.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Ponder upon the depth of the above-mentioned. is a concealment. Actually. His idea instantly became action. The most harmless perception about creation is to perceive ourselves existing in the most perfect final state. and what separates me from the Creator (prevents the feeling of closeness to the Creator) is my egoism. minute part).how to discover the measure of connection between us.from a word "Dak" ."candle". we cardinally change our life . That is. I am in a static condition completely filled with the Creator. We can facilitate this process only from our attitude to the Creator. animal state we are in. is a portion of light that enables us to exist in the biological. we shall try to add a few words regarding the matter. Therefore. my direction. The only thing we should do is to let the light that is in us do its work. which is opposite to His desire. Only to the degree in which I can change my internal desire. If this is how we perceive it. it is the only existing condition. named "Ner Dakik" ("Ner" . my internal desire. If we can change a measure of light in us. It is only for us that the perception is the final state. when the Creator conceived to create creations.it takes life to the next level. the higher the level. The fact that we are inside of the Creator. as though there were an initial state and an intermediate state. unique. will I at once start to feel the Creator. to feel myself as filled with another kind and measure of life. "Dakik" . Actually. because that is the only thing created by the Creator. the only one in which we exist.very thin. ascending spiritual levels is no mechanical 124 . this is our natural. since it is impossible to explain further this exalted matter. The small measure of the sensation of the Creator which is in us. and the greater measure of light in us. Nonetheless.
How is it possible that the system of impure forces and Klipot come from the purity of the Creator? Since in fact it is extremely distant from His purity. we should receive the large portion of light that would sustain one in a condition of life above the biological body. a small luminescence). Rather it is an inner increased likening to the light. Rather. The Parsa is under the world of Atzilut. Assiya (Klipot). the next portion of the light that we receive. That which enters from Malchut of the world of Atzilut through all the worlds and comes to the impure worlds. and it will already take us on a level of spiritual existence. and our world is under the Klipot. we can imagine the worlds from top down. perfect. 10. 125 . Yetzira. AK (the world of Infinity). One should not merely receive that small particle of light that only supports the animal condition of existence. Now the opportunity presents itself to understand the fourth inquiry. That is what one should imagine clearly today. will already be spiritual light. refers to Ner Dakik (a small candle. how is it possible that the Creator would fill and sustain it? Moreover. When the Ner Dakik descends to the Machsom and reaches us. Yetzira. Assiya (the pure worlds) and Beria. that is the challenge to us. Beria. The following step. we receive what is referred to as “our life”. a sensation of a full. and eternal life. then Atzilut.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R movement.
If we say that in the spiritual world such categories as merging. How is one to reconcile this? First. It exists and dies precisely because the act of creation has ended. and the most insignificant of them? Not only are they created by Him. this would contradict the previous conclusion. Baal HaSulam asks. including us. it means there is no connection between the Creator and this system. but He also fills them. However. separation. supports. Everything that occurs there is constantly sustained. we receive through the system of impure forces. This is unlike our world where there is an event of creation after which the body exists and subsequently dies. filled.creates impure desires. So how could He have created it? Suppose there was a non-recurring act of birth. sustains and supports them. Know that the huge desire to receive that we spoke about is the essence of the created souls. How can it be that the Creator acts this way? This question arises from the point of view of our previous definition. Furthermore. and sustained permanently). This desire is ready to receive all the fulfillment that is in the plan of creation.. Let us clarify the question. it 126 . since everything exists there permanently.e. (i. if the Creator has created impure forces. In the spiritual world.complete bestowal . and. Therefore. albeit with small light. revives and pulls us forward in our world. since the system of impure forces is absolutely antithetical to the Creator. and remoteness occur to the extent of the similarity of properties. it is necessary to understand the essence of the system of impure forces and Klipot. it is different. All actions exist constantly at all levels. "How can it be that a property at such a spiritual level as the Creator's . rapprochement. born.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R That is. and therefore eternal. there is no such concept in the spiritual. all that fills. He constantly sustains them and maintains contact". who are the lowest.
He also creates a system with which we can transform this egoism . He has created the worlds and has divided them into two systems: the four pure worlds of ABYA and the four impure worlds of ABYA. this initial huge. while ascending the middle ladder from one level to another between the two systems of pure and impure forces (egoistical and altruistic). Moreover.having retained all the same desires and only having corrected their intention. In our ascent. To correct this initial remoteness from the Creator. Therefore. He has positioned the soul between them.the overlapping of pure and impure forces. This difference of properties would forever cut them off from the Creator. We take from the egoistical system. it turns out that. Having created the system of impure and pure forces. to adapt all our desires to the Creator and to ascend.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R does not remain in the souls in the same form. 127 . impure egoism opposite to Himself. from our essence. we choose how to act. The soul ascends to the Creator precisely on this middle line. whatever we can. we constantly choose the middle line . for if it remained in them permanently (in a form which is antithetical to the Creator) the souls would be forever separated from the Creator.
And so on. They are opposite and are completely divided. after a number of efforts. the Ner Dakik. I arrive at a certain baseline level. I receive from it a so-called point in the heart. Between us is a system of communication that we refer to as the system of pure and impure forces. I receive from Him only a small portion of the light. which we agree to call the Creator. I revive my heart. There are two systems: "I" in the original form . It only exists relative to the observer who needs these 128 .I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Let us consider a simple example. one can compare himself to all the properties of the Creator only as a tiny point.an absolute ego. where I compare my egoism with the properties of the Creator. By receiving Ner Dakik. and it signifies that everything that I can attach to the Creator’s attributes is no bigger than a point. Besides. I always ascend along the middle line. until I completely work through 100 % of my desires. It transpires that the system of pure and impure forces has neither bad nor good in it. It is in the middle of these properties. Only then do I achieve 100 % likeness to the Creator. What does it give me? To exist. If I can take 10 % of my desires and assimilate them accordingly to 10 % of the Creator’s desires. and a system opposite to me. That is. then the midpoint between them will be my next level. Having received a point in the heart. On this zero level called "Ubar" (embryo).
129 . and has withdrawn from them the desire to receive for the sake of oneself. Such an internal system exists in me for this sole purpose. does not allow the light of a life. only the property of bestowal. the light of pleasure. there is only a desire to receive. the desire for selfish gratification. However. and has given it over to the system of impure worlds. for nothing exists outside. In general. these are inside the person. In addition. Internally one is graduated in such a way that one feels only certain threshold changes in sensations. Baal HaSulam says that the Creator has created egoistical desire to receive …and He has given over to the system of pure worlds His property to impart. this system became completely separated from the Creator and from everything pure. unions (exact terminology is unimportant) with the Creator. This is what we feel. we do not know what exists outside. One cannot sense a half or a quarter of any level. there naturally is no concept of bestowal. in the Klipot (and in us). We address only that which is present inside us.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R graduated levels of his own comparisons. our life. we are extremely remote from the Creator. With the help of such levels – these thresholds of sensitivity – one feels either more remote from the Creator or closer to Him. as there is no trace of a desire to receive in Him. As a result. hence. namely our animal life). Therefore. and they are referred to as steps of the worlds. therefore. it will never exist for us. to manifest itself in us (therefore we only experience a small portion of this light’s influence upon us. Naturally. who are under them). referred to as dead and so are sinners (we. The Klipot are. associations. These worlds do not exist outside. they are the essence of my internal structure. which is opposite to the Creator. because our desire to receive. it is our world.
Nothing of what refers to our physical 130 . it remains under the influence of this system until its correction begins.e. they are spiritual. normally. or he may possess any character traits. As you know. all that we can use to influence our soul and our spiritual advancement have nothing to do with our body. for only then will we be able to help our soul to ascend to the Creator. both the light and the Kli are implied by the word “soul”. boundless sensation of the Creator. because it is in no way connected with our soul. we reach the Higher Infinity. The powers we wish to develop in ourselves are not biological. which stems from its root in the thought of creation. The worlds descended to the level of this world’s reality. to the place where the body and the soul exist. This does not matter at all. man’s properties are quite irrelevant. 11.. we should never think about our biological body. We must receive them from Above. All of our properties and desires. We cannot influence the state of the soul by our animal properties. By bridging the chasm between the Creator and the creation. This is the time of being uncorrected and the time of correction. the Kabbalist will interpret the body as the Kli and the soul as the light. i. As a rule. While passing through the system of impure worlds. we are completely and indefinitely opposite to the Creator. We emerge in the spiritual worlds and then gradually diverge. Therefore. Quite often. The body is a will to receive. However. He may be healthy or sick. while studying our higher spiritual states above the level of this world.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Our spiritual separation from the Creator begins with a small difference of properties with the above and ends up as a complete opposition. intelligent or mentally retarded. in Kabbalah the body the body of the Partzuf means a will to receive pleasure. or sometimes the word “soul” is offhandedly used as the Kli without the light. At the level of our world.
I see that there is Someone I can turn to. my mind. i. which corrects me by endowing me with a screen. The Kabbalists call us sinners because we exist under the system of impure forces. it cannot be regarded as evil. nothing we may characterize in man as his human property concerns the spiritual. Here is another definition demonstrating the absence of evil. that I can receive the Creator’s power – the light. on the other hand. even my great desire and total inability to change spiritually. I need to acquire new Kelim that would help my soul to grow and enable me to reveal the Creator in it. In fact. I cannot achieve the goal with the animal properties I possess today. I really discover a miracle. my inner part that is yet non-existent in me.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R body. It neither affects our inner egoistical desire. this name is used in a purely figurative sense. The comprehension that I cannot use the instruments at my disposal. it leads to the reception of a screen from Above. The worlds descended to the level of this world’s reality. It is not evil in itself. “the realization of evil” is merely a definition. In order to expose my soul. awareness of the insignificance of my own nature. I should receive it from Above. On the one hand. egoistic desires. a 131 . The instrument for the development of my soul is called a screen. we are not sinners at all.e. How can we possibly sin. the body and the soul are some essence. to such an influence. nor the revelation of the light in us. if we are absolutely unaware of it? In other words. to the place where the body and the soul exist (the Kli constitutes the impure. are referred to as the realization of evil. which is opposite to the Creator. When I reach this state.. the sensation of my own insignificance is called “the realization of evil”. will power. Actually. I consider it faulty because it prevents me from discovering the Creator and merging with Him.
The light that will be revealed in it already fills it. which is the egoistical will to receive.. From 13 years of age and on… That is. through the system of impure worlds. passes through the system of pure worlds. we do not understand them at this time. but certainly not 620. Because the body. 132 . he begins to purify his will to receive. Where are these desires? Perhaps we can count 10 or 20 desires.. we will discover that the correction of each desire from the intention for one’s own sake to the intention for the sake of the Creator is called fulfillment of the Creator’s commandment. with the help of correction of his desires. What does it mean “the time when a person remains under the influence of the system of impure forces”? This refers to thousands and thousands of years. something from nothing). when we pass through certain unconscious corrections in our consecutive incarnations.e. we build our pure Kli. Later on. We have 620 desires within ourselves. Of course. which is the time of corruption. and “dresses” in his soul. i. If man observes it. By correcting ourselves. when the desire for the spiritual ascent begins to manifest in man through commandments. but we cannot feel it yet.e. and it remains under the influence of that system for the first thirteen years. the true spiritual light light) from its root in the thought of creation passes through the system of pure worlds (begins to manifest in us through the system of our gradual corrections). Thus. is extended from its root in the thought of creation (from the Creator – Yesh mi Ayn. the upper soul descends from its root in the thought of creation. What does it mean? Thus the upper soul (i. This is the time of being uncorrected and the time of correction (in our world we perceive the levels of correction as a temporal factor). the nucleus of the soul).I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R tiny particle of the light. and slowly turns it into the desire to receive delight for the Creator’s sake. a point in the heart.
133 . From this time on the period of correction begins. This is called the time of correction.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R This is described by the words: It passes through the system of pure worlds and “dresses” in his soul. What is a revelation of the Kli and the light that fills it? If I wish to reveal and feel this light not for my own enjoyment. There is a preliminary period called the uncorrected state that lasts until the person receives the point in his heart. and the higher one helps to reveal one’s soul completely with the emerging of the Upper Light in it. his Kli. He no longer needs to look at the Creator and reveal the Kli – now he sees both himself and the Creator within this common thought. Thus. a bestowal. This is what Kabbalah defines as man’s degrees of similarity to the Creator. but to please the One Who filled me (when I see what delight my revelations bring to Him). These levels help one another: the lower one helps the higher one. There he discovers himself. as much as he can create the screen within himself. he gradually reveals his soul and the degree of its similarity to the Creator determines the extent of this revelation. Man achieves complete merging with the Creator… Where does he achieve it? Inside of what he reveals. until he can turn his desire to receive for himself into the desire to receive for the sake of the Creator. so can he reveal his soul. Man’s properties become equivalent to the Creator’s. his intention and the Creator who fills him. With the help of this light. his Kli. In other words. It starts pushing him towards the spiritual. Man gradually receives new portions of the correcting light. the levels of his spiritual ascent. then my attainment will be considered bestowal and will take place. since reception for the sake of giving is a “pure” form. Man feels the light inside of this Kli. man ascends and attains the levels of the thought of creation in the Creator’s Infinity.
With the help of the Kabbalistic method (that includes a gradual correction of one’s desires). and that of the light to the vessel is the third). It turns out that the Creator’s revelation. That is. All of this is a single. and dress one in the other. Because of this. Our sages asked. This condition is called merging with the Creator. “How can one merge with the Creator?” – and answered their own question: “By merging with His properties”. the light filling it is another. They become blessed with all the pleasures in the thought of creation. because the spiritual merging is nothing but equivalence of properties. The Creator has prepared for them two systems of worlds. Nothing like that exists. One suddenly realizes that all of this is a single whole. it can be expressed this way: “I will know You from my similarity to You”. 134 .I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Man achieves complete merging with the Creator. which is initially inherent in us). In other words. the action he performs and the Creator. then I will finally become exactly like Him. one against the other. man discovers that there is no division between him. And along with it (with the sensation of this blessing) they completely merge with Him. we have clearly explained the correction of the will to receive that is imprinted in the souls by the thought of creation (imprinted in the egoistic desire to receive. and reception of His light are the same action. 12. indistinguishable in any way. if I gradually reveal the Creator in accordance with my growing similarity to Him. through which the souls pass and divide into two aspects. defined as “observing commandments”. body and soul. the reaction of the vessel to the light. they convert the property of “reception for himself” into the property of “bestowal”. undivided whole (as if a vessel is one thing. Thus. correction of the Kli. similarity to Him.
As a result of becoming similar to the Creator. His thoughts. a desire and strength. The Creator’s goal is to elevate man to His Own level. The result is a paradox. I perform my own action. As much as I can make one similar to the other. but by making my actions similar to His. a person neither receives the Creator’s bounty nor gives Him anything. from the right side – His light and the screen. I begin to understand His intention. This is the End of Correction. but if we interpret them correctly and immediately apply them. but that is what happens.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R That is. then they only strengthen our knowledge and enrich this internal image. it leads to a surprising consequence: I do not liken myself to the Creator in action. but reaches the level of the Creator. rises up to the essence – up to the Creator. and perfect. it shall be eliminated from the earth and death shall cease forever. the screen (what to operate with). I build this combination and create my middle line from it. "By Your actions I will know You". and it does not matter that the pleasure is infinite. He rises to the higher level and reaches the Creator’s thought that had existed even before He created the desire to receive pleasure from nothing. I perform the same actions that He does. 135 . and the so-called secrets of the Torah. eternal. Since there is no longer a need for the system of impure forces. By following His example. we discover that the Creator’s thought is not just to fill man with some pleasure. These allegorical expressions can seriously spoil our picture. man ascends above the point of his birth. As a result. This is called: "By Your actions I will know You". I receive an example (of how I should act) from Him. This way I build the middle line: from the left side I take my egoistical desires. Finally. higher than the initial point of his creation.
since it takes in. Torah comes from the word “Ohr”. and decomposes all that enters into it. absorbs. the intention for one’s own sake will disappear from the egoistical desire) and death shall cease forever (“death” means the gap between the light and the desire to receive pleasure. and a grain is planted into it.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R The word “ground” alludes to the egoistical desire to receive pleasure. it gains life).. On the other hand. Later we will be studying all these spiritual roots and why our world is built this way because of it. and as soon as the light enters the desire to receive. imbibes. The system of impure forces shall be eliminated from the earth (i. “Ohra’a” – “the light”. these two properties can create the condition for the emergence of a new life. a “commandment” means the correction of an egoistical desire) is given to the world during 6000 years of its existence… 136 . And all the work in the Torah and commandments (i..e. drawing the light. if the ground (the property of reception) is combined with water (Bina – the property of bestowal).e.
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R It is 5764 now (according to the Jewish calendar).e. the point in man’s heart manifested in Abraham. Adam is the first person who has discovered the point in his heart. But they will execute the program of the creation. In about 1948 B. They might bring terrible destructions. This is the period when the point in the heart did not merely appear inside a human being. without any aspiration to the Creator. there were some actions taken in this direction. by way of the light. “These few hundred years may be very critical. by way of Kabbalah. Let us follow the development of the two axes – the spiritual and ours. In the future. nuclear wars and immense calamities as a result of which only a small number of people will remain on the Earth.e. If we do not help humankind quickly to pass through the period of realization of evil and to aspire to the Creator. After Abraham. i. For the first time. humanity will advance by way of suffering. Baal HaSulam writes. they will include all the other souls. but a human being in this world. Today we can do it to enable all humankind to accomplish it quickly and without suffering. all of humankind is obliged to reach the level of the Creator. Until this time. thousands of people have done it. only the preliminary method existed.” 137 . we will clarify what “the End of the world’s existence” means. During the period of 6000 years. i. He strongly desired to merge with the Creator and revealed Him. a few hundred years from “the end of the world’s existence” according to this chronology. but at that time.C. human beings existed like animals.. Even before Abraham. it awakened and began to lead him to the Creator. Let us consider into what periods these 6000 years are divided. What we mean is not the spiritual Adam. Abraham appeared. Now the year is 5764..
Instead.e. Unless our bodies had been created with the uncorrected (egoistical) desires by the system of the Klipot. It was bound to happen for the creation of bodies (i. So we have clarified how the system of impure forces and the Klipot (shells) emerged from the Creator’s purity and exists at His expense. we would have had no opportunity to correct them (i. to pass through this period painlessly and comfortably. And all the work in the Torah and commandments that are given to the world during 6000 years of its existence and to each person for the duration of his seventy years of life.e.. already enables us to implement it in this life.. We can reveal the entire reality in such a way that we will stop feeling any transition between life and death of our biological body. While existing in our world as we are.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R We can help the rest of the people to accelerate this process. to the equivalence of form and merging with the Creator. a chance just to hear about this idea. man would never have been able to realize his own “I” and reach the Creator’s level by himself).e. egoistical desires) that will later be corrected by the light (the Torah) and with the help of the screen (observing the commandments). to merge completely with the Creator.. i. We can now ascend to the world of Infinity and exist on its highest level. 138 . are only in order to bring them to the end of correction. Question: Is there any practical method for strengthening the contact with the Creator? Is it possible to merge with Him during this life? Kabbalah is a practical method of increasing contact with the Creator called a revelation. it would be the same solitary point existing in this infinite light. this method. not as an independent being. but as a desire made by the Creator that does not exist by itself.
We have all the prerequisites for it. “The Introduction to the Commentary on the Zohar” describes the mechanics of the spiritual ascent. However. equal to Him. 13. It only depends on our unity and common aspiration. everything had also ended. the Kli needs no actions. “The Foreword to the Zohar” is the most profound and summarizing of all. This is because unlike us. “The Introduction to the Zohar” expounds the peculiarities of the book and explains how it should be approached Let us have a closer look at the most important of these introductions in order better to understand the scope and power of the universe. we do not have to wait for ten years. “The Foreword to the Zohar” and “The Introduction to the Commentary on the Zohar”. how can there be a root to all that happens to us and in us within the Creator. ultimate state). a desire to receive for its own sake) is so bad and corrupt. how could it be planned and stem from the Thought of Creation in the Infinity and Perfection of the Creator Himself.. we are talking about becoming similar.e. Let us join our forces! We continue studying item 13 of “The Introduction to the Book of Zohar”. Unlike previous generations of Kabbalists. We also need it to prepare ourselves for the actual reading of the Zohar. we must still understand: if the will to receive (i. egoism.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R This is not only the question of increasing our contact with the Creator. It touches upon the general system of creation. penetrates its depths. We can do it in ten months. Baal HaSulam wrote several introductions to the Zohar: “The Introduction to the Zohar”. They appeared exactly as the 139 . whose wholeness is unspeakable? That is. the root of the imperfection we are in? The thing is that when the thought of creation had only just begun. best. All the souls and their future states immediately emerged in their completeness and utter perfection (in their final.
In the realm of his sensations. If we consider those. There 140 . He sees us in this perfect state and appeals to us from it. He is already merged with us in the final. he exists beyond time. While knowing that her child can be in various states. By making his properties similar to the Creator. and future exist as a single whole in the Creator’s infinity. As man ascends the spiritual levels. With regard to the Creator. a human thought becomes an act. The same applies to people. The Creator’s attitude to us can be compared to the way a mother treats her child. actions. it (the will to receive) attains complete equivalence of properties with the Creator. we have existed in this final state from the moment of our conception. and time contracts to the point of nonexistence. the child is bound to experience the “developmental diseases” and finally achieve complete equivalence of form and correction. and his ultimate state are the same. We will also know how we should appeal to Him. the person begins to feel that his desires. Only at the end of correction will the souls achieve this exalted state (from the Creator’s perspective it already exists. Why does creation go through this transformation with regard to the Creator? Because the past. we will better comprehend His attitude to the creation. While entering the Upper World. Time does not exist relative to the Creator. because there is no difference between an action and its consequence. her love for it is complete. After our will to receive is completely corrected and becomes “pure” bestowal (with the intention for the sake of the Creator). where man is equal with the Creator. time begins to disappear. present. They all unite into one. On the other hand. to us. perfect state).I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Creator had conceived them.
there was no corrupt will to receive (regarding the Creator) separated from His Infinity. 141 . “His Name” means a vessel (Kli). This word refers to a descent from the level of infinite perfection). we should understand that the transition from the first to the third state exists only for us. Where it is already corrected it ceases to exist. When we speak of imperfections. the creatures that were created in their perfect. suffering and the various states we are to go through from the Thought of creation to its end (from the first state. impure forces. He and His Name (the Creator. This is what our sages meant when they said. because there was no separation of the will to receive in the souls. in the Thought of creation. For the Creator they all merge into one. the corrected part also merges with this one perfect and infinite state. From here stem the three states of the souls: The first state is in the world of Infinity. the equivalence of attributes that is destined to appear at the end of correction appeared immediately in His eternity (with the thought of creation).” “He” designates the Creator. comes from the word “Ha’alama” (concealment). where the souls already have the future form of the end of correction. It exists only where something needs to be corrected.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R is no chain of cause and effect. and vice-versa. 14. but rather they were merged with the Creator in their attributes (they were completely identical). To the extent of our correction. His Light and all the creatures) exist in the “only perfect state”. time stops and everything freezes in a state of perfection. eternal. through the second and into the third one). “even before the world was created (the Hebrew word “Olam” (world). Hence. final state. That state is described in the words “He and His Name are One.
which is an egoistical uncorrected desire). Those are my own corrupt desires that are always at my left side. (This work is performed through corrective actions under the influence of the Upper Light. by drawing the Light upon ourselves. we attain our correction. impure system). I then take from the right the appropriate Light to correct that desire (i. Only the intention to use them selfishly is considered the “will to receive. The corrupt desires that come from the left side. its egoistical intention).000 years. They were both created by Him. while the left side constantly adds corrupt desires. are not completely alien to me. from the impure forces (Klipot). I only connect them by taking the impure force from the left and correct it using the pure force from the right. Only this singular act is mine. We were then given the work in the Torah and Commandments in order to turn the will to receive into the will to bestow.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R The second state is called the period of 6. This will be defined as my “middle line”.. Thus. We do not change the desires themselves. We can receive forces for correction from the right side. They were created in us. while the lights that correlate to them and correct them are on my right. we turn the egoistical intention of our desires into to the altruistic ones). the souls divide into body and soul (meaning the light called “soul” (Neshama) and the body (Guf) Guf) known Guf as a vessel (Kli). With the help of two systems (the pure.e. altruistic system and the egoistical. I create within myself a corrected desire with the intention for the sake of the Creator.” The intent to use them for the Creator is called the “will to bestow. we exist between the pure and impure systems of forces. They were given to me from Above by the Creator. I ought to take the next desire that corresponds in size to my ability to correct from my left.” Hence. Thus. This 142 . Neither the right nor the left lines are my own.
The entire way can also be divided into 125 levels. This desire is called “Aliyat MAN” (raising of MAN).000 years (though it can take less time). we expose our egoistic desires to the Upper Correcting Light. i.e. in action. During our studies. we concentrate on our desire to be exposed to the influence of the Surrounding Light that would correct and elevate us to the level we read about. “Gradually” means a consecutive ascent of the 6. The only thing that is not preordained is our desire for it to happen. The first one relates to the world of Infinity. That can happen only if we want it to. to the Thought of creation. we have the only opportunity actually to perform a correction in its pure form. As we study.. It can also be expressed in another manner (as we read in § 155 of “The Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”). raising our desire. The second one relates to the relative period of 6. Souls may be in two states. The order in which we progress is as preordained as our actions. It is more accurate to say that what depends on me is to wish that my egoistical desires collide with the Upper Light from the right. At that particular moment. This means that under the influence of the Light we gradually correct all of our 620 egoistical desires. I am only the character that performs it. “my action?” If the Light affects the desire and consequently corrects it. we correct ourselves. then it is the action of the Light and not my own. During that time. While studying. and be corrected with its help.000 levels. It appears the moment we want it. we should only think that this correction will come to each and 143 .I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R means that neither the egoistic desires from my left nor the Light that comes from the right are mine. Without our desire there will be no correction. It does not really matter how we divide it. the right and the left lines will neither come into contact nor interact. This desire is exactly what we should reach during our studies. So what is mine? Mine is the action! What does it mean. What is important is that we must go through all of them.
We ought to long for the tremendous Upper Light to descend upon all of us. Egoism becomes completely detached from us and we only work with the properties we receive from Above . our original egoism. but not the bodies. There are many of us. This means that we must relinquish all the desires to receive for ourselves called the attributes of the body. While we are in this state (of 6000 years). only the souls are corrected. Abstaining from the use of these desires is called “decomposition” of these desires. We will discuss it later. All of our Kelim de Kabbalah (vessels of reception) are restricted. If it reaches its maximum (it is really in our power). and remain only with the desire to bestow known as a spiritual desire. we can draw a very intensive Upper Light that would correct us. we should only want it. With our combined effort. Even the souls of the righteous cannot be in the Garden of Eden (a specific level in the world of Atzilut) after death (when one’s egoism dies).GE (desires of bestowal). GE (vessels of bestowal). What does this “rotting” mean? It is as though we examine each of those desires and acquire Kelim de Ashpa’a. 144 . but only after their bodies rot in the ground. By refraining from using them. We go through many different states and live in different conditions. We can only do it by ascending to the higher-level called “AHP de Aliya”. It all depends on the intensity of our desire.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R every one of us. We have talked about the meaning of the “bodies rotting in the ground”. This means that we are unable to correct “Lev HaEven” (heart of stone). we have a large group all over the world. We know that it constitutes a complete revocation of our egoism (we perform Tzimtzum). Plainly speaking. we do not correct the body itself during the six thousand years. we seemingly bury them in the ground to rot. we will be corrected and achieve the first spiritual level.
this means that the vessel (Kli). One should by no means imagine that this happens with our physical bodies in the material world. Therefore. This way the vessels of the AHP join with the vessels of GE. That is the meaning of the dead that have completely rotted rising from their graves. to the extent that we acquire equivalence of form with the Light. thus becoming worthy of receiving all the bounty. love. The third state is the end of correction of the souls after the “resurrection of the dead. infinity. the 620 completely corrected desires. Such a return of the AHP to the corrected level by retrieving it from the state we put it in is called “resurrection of the dead”. We can burn or bury the physical body. are complete). It all depends on how similar we can be to the Light that comes from Above. pleasure and delight that is in the thought of creation. and the soul is completely disconnected from it. all the Ten Sefirot. it has nothing to do with spiritual terms. reception for one’s self (original). and the AHP are corrected and connected with it. as a Giver of perfection. thus correcting our egoistical AHP. with the Creator.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R After the acquisition of all the altruistic desires (GE). it is felt as darkness because of the dissimilarity of properties. We feel this Light in its true form. revive them with their flaws. We are not talking about this body. which is the property of the body. is overturned and adopts the form of pure giving. we begin to raise the previously rejected AHP. (When the GE are already acquired. This world will be gradually “disappearing” from our sensations. We raise the “dead” desires that we did not want to use. This means that before the Kli has corrected all the Light that comes to it. The more we 145 . we begin to feel Him. In that state. our today’s world will begin to expand and to be filled with the Upper World to the extent of our similarity to the Light. perform implants and do whatever else we want with it. and goodness. when all the bodies (egoistical desires) are corrected. And vice versa.
we can read nothing about those states. souls merit complete merging with the Creator through equivalence of properties with Him. pleasures. Once we are corrected. Consequently. can only exist because it consists of opposites: black and white. The souls rise to the level called the “Thought of creation”. when everything enters the state we refer to as Infinity (Ein Ein Sof Sof). It is only in the transition between two opposite states that we can feel. 146 . there are no words in our language to describe them. our language becomes useless. black symbols against a white background. understand and attain. Consequently. He enjoys when they receive pleasure. That is because they do not take pleasure in their own will to receive. They become equal with the Creator. because what we feel. We cannot even speak about these states. timeless and flawless existence. As we enter the world of Infinity (Ein Ein Sof Sof).I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R correct ourselves. or any kind of limit. because they also receive pleasure from Him. and they are granted the sensation of unbound infinity. pain and pleasure. what we can absorb and analyze. It is said: “The thought of creation is to delight the creatures. but rather in the desire to give to the Creator (they become equal to Him). This is how we will feel the universe. We are unable to understand what follows. We are just talking about achieving a state when our Kelim (desires) are corrected. and attainments. At the same time. the clearer we will see the laws that exist around us in the Upper World. because Kabbalists have no means to convey them to us.” They feel endlessness in each of their feelings. the Creator begins to elevate us to His own level and higher. We can only discuss something that precedes the end of correction. We use the opposites to create symbols. express our inner feelings as letters. nor contrasting sensations of good and evil. Many states follow the correction of the vessels. where there are neither opposite attributes.
For example. Kabbalah is a purely applied science. By looking at these three states. There is no other way. These above three states are interwoven. The first one is the Thought. we find that they necessitate one another. and three. we shall refer to the three states of the soul as states one. Kabbalists receive their attainments within themselves and understand what it is all about. existing relative to us. We should perceive them as initially created. You should remember them well. This desire is called “Aliyat MAN” (raising of MAN). For the sake of brevity. 15. support one another. Because of the Creator’s 147 . It is the sending out of a prayer and depends only on how much we perceive the greatness of the Upper One as well as the lowness of our own condition. in which the property of reception turns into the property of bestowal. the others would disappear as well.” It can only be verified by tasting. existed. cause and effect). referring to them as the first. unless the third state. by drawing Inner Light called flavors (Ta’amim). If one of them did not exist (even a tiny detail in any of them – action. By using its methods on themselves. two. Unlike those who study it theoretically and therefore can never understand what these books have to say.000-year period of correction. Baal HaSulam uses these names quite frequently. because it already exists in the third state in the future. Kabbalists achieve correction. the first state would not have been able to exist in the world of Infinity (in the primary thought). Perfection in the first state could only manifest.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R It is therefore said: “Taste and see that the Lord is good. and exist simultaneously in the present. It depends only on our desire to be included in this or that state and be in it. the second is the 6. second and third states. and the third is the final state.
It definitely necessitates the existence of the third state. then how could the third state come to pass (with regard to us)? In this way. nor could we have 148 . Thus. the second and third states should manifest in complete perfection. the first state necessitates the emergence of two opposite systems in the second state. we would neither have had the will to receive (the enormous egoistical desire that matches the Creator’s desire to bestow).e. This leads us to the conclusion about the necessity of the impure forces. This brings forth the body (egoistical desire in the second state). However. We cannot attain the third state unless we fall under the influence of impure forces and receive the material with which we can work and correct ourselves. the third state necessitates the existence of the first one. It is the same with the first state in the world of Infinity. for us to feel that we are in the third state. It is not enough for something to exist in the Creator. the first state would also have been unable to exist regarding Him. Unless something existed in the second state. because it exists in Him even without us. the first state becomes as ideal as the third one).I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R eternity. enabling us to correct it with the help of the impure forces (and attain the third state that would ensure perfection in the first one). in reaching spiritual levels.000 years). In other words. He is in a perfect and eternal state. and the perfection of the third state is seemingly copied onto the first one (this way. if the Creator had not created the perfect state. the third state exists as present. we should go through the second one. Hence. i. where occurs all our work in correction (during 6. where the perfection of the third state exists. Had there been no system of impure worlds. the second state determines the existence of the third one..
Thus. Malchut. It is perfect. getting closer to the Creator. The system of impure forces is necessary as storage of all the corrupted desires. the greater. it fills up the entire circle. We extract and correct them one by one. we need not ask how the impure system emerged from the first state (which is perfect and eternal. outer circle. albeit only a point. Malchut itself is just a point in the circle that is surrounded by impure forces. It first acquires and then corrects them. and possibilities. the Kli the size of Infinity. because Malchut in the world of Infinity performed the first restriction [Tzimtzum Aleph] and. and ascend the ladder from the first state to the third one. for “man cannot correct that which is absent in him”. Therefore. it is impossible to measure just how much greater the circle becomes with these 620 desires after it connects them to itself and uses them for the 149 . Malchut of the world of Infinity is but a point in the Light. In truth. desires. Malchut should acquire impure desires that match the size of that circle. This becomes the third state. In order to fill the entire Infinity. having no other desires. the difference between the first and the third states lies in the correction of the impure forces and not merely in the reception of additional forces. The first state. acquires the upper nine Sefirot and the point turns to Partzuf Partzuf. and consequently attain the third state. so they become pure forces of Malchut. It is expressed in our falling to the full depth of the impure forces and subsequently ascending and correcting them in accordance with the first state. Thus. because we have now acquired the impure forces and corrected them. was merged with the Creator).I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R corrected it and achieve the third state. Malchut in the third state is a huge circle. is just a point merged with the Creator. These impure forces appeared so that we would be able to correct them. The gap between the first and the third states makes the impure system necessary. You might say that it is 620 times bigger than the first point.
The Light is the “Torah” (from the Hebrew word “Ohr” . and surrounding Light. how is it expressed? The fact is that the Creator has prepared two paths for us in state two. being that it is rooted in the first one. 16.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R sake of bestowal. the act of correction itself is the Mitzva. This is the actual difference between the first and the third states. 2. 1. the act of correction is what the Creator commanded: to correct the egoistical use of a desire to the altruistic one. the descending. Light of AB SAG. This means that there are two ways for us to proceed from the first state to the third one: a short way and a long way. or the path of Light. the Light of Hochma (Wisdom). Then. In other words. There exist many types of light. second. However. such as the Light of Hassadim (Mercy). the Torah is the general Light that descends from Above. The Path of Torah and Commandments A Commandment (Mitzva) is an act intended to correct a desire. and the NaRaNHaY. The Light does it. one might ask where my freedom of choice is? Are we just marionettes “tramping” from the first state to the third without any say in the matter? No! We do have freedom of choice. But the above words should not lead us to the conclusion that we have no freedom of choice because we are compelled to come to the third state. We learned that correction is made by way of Torah and Mitzvot (actions influenced by the Light). and third states exist. ascending. When we correct a certain egoistic desire. This way is called the path of Torah. It appears that if the first.light). The Path of Suffering 150 .
. Our sages said. If not by way of Torah and Commandments. It is written: “By good or by evil. our correction will in any case be completed through the path of suffering. and he will make you repent” (allusion to the Pharaoh). it will be forced upon us. but if not. then by pain and sufferings. It is the difference between the Upper One and me. we have made clear how the three states of the souls are connected to one another and necessitate each other’s existence. then it is fine. Hell is the feeling of absolute lowness. Hell is a terrible. smallness. through Torah and Commandments). If you merit. ethics.” It means that by observing Torah and Commandments. Mere development of technology. The path of suffering entails the punishment of the souls in Hell. Be that as it may. Our choice is only between the Path of Suffering and the Path of Torah and Commandments.e. In other words. “If you repent (i.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Suffering refines the body and eventually compels us to turn our (egoistical) will to receive into the will to bestow and merge with the Creator. and baseness of the egoistical attributes compared to the Upper Light and perfection. the End of Correction (i. Thus.e. 151 . terrible sufferings will compel us in spite of everything to understand that we should only progress spiritually. with each passing generation. if you do not. we hasten our correction and do not need the harsh agony and the prolonged time to compel us to correct ourselves (with the help of the Light. or any other field will eventually degrade us more and more.. state three) is a must for all and is preordained by the first state. This is the contrast between the egoistical sensations and the sublime altruistic ones. if you follow the Path of Torah). I will place over you a ruthless king. endless abyss that is felt between these two states. I will hasten it (I will lead you to the third state). What in fact is “Hell”? In a word.
Thus. our journey will be peaceful. This is the only choice we have. corrects and develops. We will know and look forward to everything that awaits us. The alternative is to stubbornly stay put and wait until terrible pain forces us to climb the same steps towards our already existing third state. It is therefore impossible to be corrected by suffering. and quiet. In fact. The only thing that can be achieved through pain is the realization of the necessity of correction. namely the path of Torah and the path of suffering. We must regain our sight before we plunge into real anguish. We can either suffer or quickly awaken (before the most terrible calamities befall us). We should both grow smarter and do what we must. nothing is 152 . The Light affects the Reshimot in all the worlds. Afterwards. and attract the Surrounding Light upon ourselves. We learn in the four phases of the Straight Light: The Light begets the will to receive. There is no other way.. we will constantly attain better and better things. it is impossible to be corrected through the path of suffering. the Light continues acting in the desire to bestow of Behina Bet and creates Behina Gimel. or wait until sufferings compel us to do the same.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R It is not quite correct to say that there are only two paths. because eventually we will still have to return to the starting point. i. then Behina Dalet and so on. We need quickly to realize what we should do. our freedom of choice is in becoming smarter and taking advantage of the opportunity provided. which forms Behina Bet. It elevates and lowers. and then it awakens the will to bestow in Behina Aleph. In that case. We perceive it as an ability to do something freely. Therefore. However. Only the Light corrects. We normally err in our interpretation of the concept of free will. and with the help of studies and a group expose ourselves to the influence of the Surrounding Light. comfortable. feel pleasant feelings.e. Behina Aleph.
that he is ready to give up everything to satisfy even the most inconsequential desires that he does not care at all about what happens around him. This situation is regarded as living in this world. However. opposition to the Creator. I can examine my desires. When we examine ourselves. we understand the third inquiry: when we examine ourselves. with my corrected state. there is another way. in their corrupt way. when we look at the Creator.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R free! We are given a desire to work with. This means that I do not inspect them in view of the purpose of creation without first checking what I should do with them. we find that we are as corrupt and as despicable as can be. in aspiration to it. for there is no one higher than He. I choose a slow and painful road. Then he will see that all of his desires and intentions are only for his own benefit. I can work with them exactly as they are within me. in matching my desires with those of the Upper World. know what form they must eventually take. and an existence in contact with the Upper World. compare them with the future. This is the difference between a senseless existence in the desires of this world below the Machsom. My desires are pre-instilled in me. as is 153 . what the Creator wants of me. we find that we are as corrupt and as despicable as can be… There is no need to explain to every person what he really is. 17. I simply follow them. This is the meaning of baseness. and we can do it either the right way or the wrong way. The meaning of not knowing one's self entirely is that he must still go through a period of recognition of evil (my individual evil). In other words. we must be similar to Him. and try to draw the Surrounding Light. This light will correct them and equalize them with the Creator so that I will begin to feel Him. However. That is the manifestation of our free will. From all the above.
Why do we need this metamorphosis? Why do we have to go through all these phases of correction? Could we not have been spared this forced correction? We really could. (we do not feel it. All of the 620 impure desires given to us must be turned into a perfect and pure body. While climbing by means of our corrected desires. of the egoistical desire. How could something imperfect create something perfect. The impure thoughts and desires that we receive from the left line (our so-called “impure body). already exists in the third state. we ascend to the third state. and vice versa. and He creates something imperfect. it means that this imperfection existed in Him to begin with. Now we can understand that our body with all of its insignificant egoistical desires is not our real body (it is what we are given from the impure system). for if the Creator is perfect. because it covers all our feelings) so as to correct it and allow us to receive our eternal body in state three. but then we would remain a point. eternal and perfect (corrected). a mere fetus inside the Creator. what would we have to correct? We need somehow to comprehend the acts of the Creator. We need something to work with. Unless we had these desires. state one (in which Malchut is merely a point) necessitates our reception of a corrupt and loathsome shell (Klipa.. We need not angrily protest it (such a loathsome body) because our work cannot be done except in a body as transitory and as wasteful as ours (in these detestable and egoistical desires). Thus. That is where we receive our complete form. 154 . Our real body. are only given for us to correct. the will to receive).I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R becoming of the Creator who created us. That is because the nature of the Perfect One is to perform perfect acts. how could something imperfect be emanated by something perfect? That is impossible. as if on the rungs of a ladder. in reception for the sake of bestowal. State two separates us from the Creator..
power. and flawed. we become equal with the Creator. a backward reflection of His attributes. stem from something eternal? We do not fully understand these questions because 155 . Since our body is going to die. If that were the case. we become similar to His bestowal. allowing us to make them similar to the Creator. intention. That is because He created those 620 desires by His will to bestow. That resolves our fifth inquiry. and since it is here only for the time necessary for the reception of its eternal form. base. wasteful actions would be extended (concrete. and egoistical body by dropping us into infinitesimal negativity. He did this so that we might have a way to ascend. They are. this body is only here for the time necessary for its cancellation and reception of our eternal form. because it is not our own). correct them. and knowledge. the past intentions die. we acquire the necessary properties. and disappear. Hence. these properties were created artificially. rot. it is impossible to receive those 620 desires corrected in advance. If we invert them from reception to bestowal. it can cause us no harm. discrete and of limited size)? How can something transitory. The Creator gave us a loathsome. until they become similar to the Creator. and make them similar to Him. which was – how could it be that from the Eternal (like the Creator) transitory. making room for the intentions to bestow to emerge in their place. low.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R When we examine the 620 desires that are opposite to the Creator. Thus we are already in a perfect state. We learn what happens inside the Creator Himself and become equal with Him. 18. limited. in fact. For that reason. we would not be able to adopt them in us without turning them from negative to positive. When we correct them. Therefore. in correspondence with the perfect Creator who has made us in the second state (it does not matter that the second state is low.
Only then will we begin to understand this contradiction. We will understand what Baal HaSulam is saying only when eternity begins to shine on us from Above. which is the will to receive for ourselves alone (with the intention for our own sake). or opposites. we would have remained separated from the Life of Lives for all eternity. And our eternity necessitates that the egoistical shell of the body will have been given to us only for a transitory. how this flawless eternity and perfection. this form of our body. It will happen slowly as we begin to attain the Surrounding Light that creates the complete and perfect universe around us and creates this picture in our mind’s eye. without even a trace of limitation. We see that we are indeed in a state worthy of His eternity.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R we do not feel any kind of eternity. meaning the level of the Creator). for there we are formed as state three (to begin with). is not at all present in the thought of creation. wasteful work (in order to turn it to altruism and increase it from being a point to being a circle. The only thing that obstructs us from feeling this eternity is the shell that wraps us. in which all the points are perfect and eternal and continuous. meaning that even now we are eternal and perfect beings. can come from a source where states and actions are passing. but rather appears (to us) 156 . When we stop turning inwardly and can turn the current from inside out. That is how opposite it is to our condition. We are like a magnetic field that reflects everything we project outwardly. we will instantly feel the eternity and perfection we are actually in. this being our egoistical impure intention. for if it had remained eternal. We must only neutralize the shell. As we have said in item 13. the difficulty still stands. However. transient and low. contrast.
since man (a person who attains the Upper World) is the center of creation. During the ascent to the Upper World. We must not ponder over other beings in the world. If we begin to acquire the attributes of the Upper World. 157 . creates. we will become lords of the universe. We think that humankind cannot be the center of creation. this is our actual strength. or something unnatural. If we measure ourselves with respect to the nature of the still or the vegetative. which is thousands of times greater than we in numbers are. sustains and fills everything.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R only in the second state (so that we acquire it by ourselves in the third state). We must not ponder (there is no question) over the state of other beings in the world (they are inconsequential for us). steaming. If we exist on this planet as animals. We exist on a thin layer of the planet. which are so abundant. and come to own that Light. since man is the center of creation. In fact. to the point of Infinity. we will rise higher than all of nature. sitting on a vibrating. It should not appear as a paradox. and erupting volcano. You can also say the same thing with regard to animate nature. without accepting upon ourselves the purpose of creation. being the Light that controls. To the extent that we acquire these Upper Forces. because we are lost. and only exist in the second one with our subjective feelings. it will seem that we are a tiny insignificant minority. It turns out that without connection with the Upper World we are insignificant. even on this planet. We are in fact in the third state. we naturally become tiny fractions in space and in this world. in order to correct them to correspond to the real situation. We are in a vast universe. completely disconnected and detached from the Upper World. we begin to absorb it into ourselves. dependent on some negligible star called “Sun”.
but rather a reflection of an external nature. Once I discover this dependency. created a division of internal worlds and external worlds. one finds a wondrous interdependency where one’s every inner trait is not one’s own. which produced the second restriction. My still desires are a higher reflection of the entire universe. My vegetative degree is more internal. That is the reason Kabbalists are said to understand the language of the birds and the animals. become incomplete. They all depend on us. of the entire inanimate nature around me. and animate) do not have their own value. in our new attributes. they ascend and descend with man without any regard for himself. we discover the entire surrounding nature within us. we are separated and severed from our surroundings. consequently understanding its language and sensations. Then we shall all unite into a single soul. while ascending to the Upper Worlds. but only as much as they are useful in bringing humanity to completeness. everything will unite into one structure of Ten Sefirot. After that. the only Adam (Adam ( HaRishon). Thus. and feel and understand everything around them. vegetative. The parts of the Partzuf were created from the innermost to the outermost. When one begins to ascend in spirituality. 158 . It is metaphorically described as man containing everything within. I begin to use nature through perception of it. and our entire world will be contained in each and every one of us. on how much we draw them to ourselves for the purpose of our ascent. Immediately after the conclusive and collective screen is created. As a result. and become Adam. our perception of the surrounding world.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R All other creations (still. Our inner vessels. meaning it is a higher reflection of the entire vegetative nature. My animate nature contains the entire nature around me. containing everything within. The absence of the screen.
19. In state two. the state of Infinity. Nature will independently create in us everything we need. for it depends on us alone. We will not need any genetic engineering to be able to provide for ourselves. As we spiritually correct ourselves. in which our perfect eternity will be achieved from the future third state. 159 . What is Baal HaSulam talking about? Let me remind you with the help of a little sketch. We say that state one. how could he intentionally create his creations so that they are bound to suffer and grieve during their lives? It is said that all this suffering is predetermined in our first state. we will discover fantastic changes for the better in our surrounding nature. If the Creator is kind and only brings goodness. that obligates us to follow the path of Torah or the path of suffering in order to achieve eternity in state three.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Therefore. We now discover how badly we influence it. Let us continue studying “The Introduction to the Book of Zohar.” where we have carefully examined the first three points. is completely filled with the light and this is Malchut. we need not ask about the rest of nature. Here Baal HaSulam approaches the fourth question. created by the Creator.
According to the above sketch. books and the Rav or under the influ160 . This process is usually depicted as one unfolding from up downwards. becomes empty. The difference is only in time. The path of creation starts between the second and the third states. Naturally. performs corrections. which finally lead to the third state.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Malchut performs a Tzimtzum. I can evaluate the corruption of the current level and the perfection of the future one either under the influence of my group. and during this state it is being gradually filled with the light. There is an opportunity to pass from the first state to the second and then from the second to the third in the following way: from the first state. It is not that the Creator governs and fills the world of Infinity. The passage from the second state to the third constitutes the levels of ascent (correction) of the souls. when Malchut returns to being completely filled with the light. This third state is equivalent to the first one. The third state – the world of Infinity . There are two paths: “the path of Torah and the path of suffering”. there are no created beings yet. Partzufim and Sefirot). the first state is created by the Creator from outside. but rather Malchut fills this void from within its own desire. we pass to the second by descending the so-called levels of descent (the worlds. Every time. the only difference between them being that the third state was achieved by Malchut itself. which absorbs all these previous properties. we do not exist between the first and the second stages. while passing from one level to another I need to feel the evil and corruption of my current state and the perfection expected at the next one.is achieved by the correction of Malchut itself. by the surrounding light called Ohr Sovev. I should go through a certain number of levels. From the beginning until the end of every path. which fills the entire volume of Infinity by attracting the outer light. We are going to examine how these three states predetermine each other. from the World of Infinity to our world. They become the properties of Malchut.
to fill oneself) was created only to be destroyed in the mode in which it exists. Baal HaSulam says that all this suffering is felt only in the Klipa of our body. The desires that have not been used by man are called dead. who have already attained this. So. our passage from the second state to the third. These blows act slowly.. the group is most important. with the help of books. (i. which was created for nothing else but to die and be buried. in our still uncorrected desires). This points out that the will to receive (egotistical desire to obtain everything.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R ence of blows that I will be dealt. I can quickly realize the corruption of my current condition and the perfection of the following state and thus move forward of my own free will. and my group. advise us on how to accelerate our development. This is the reason we gather. The path itself becomes an ascent and time spent in each state will literally shrink to a minimum. I myself create my group. Here lies the difference between the path of Torah (light) and the path of suffering. That is. Our studies cannot guarantee us any advancement. Only with the help of a self-created outside source can I start advancing along the path of Torah instead of the path of suffering. but rather it means to be in a state of attainment and exaltation. Only with the help of my complementary element. However.e. to be wiped out and 161 . The essence of what we study is to create forces around us that would influence us and move us forward faster than those natural forces that move the rest of humanity. they are stretched in time and therefore I prolong my passage on the path of suffering. This means we should bury these desires for the purpose of not using them. by switching the natural factor of influence on me with my group’s influence. do I start moving much faster. the Rav. the path itself does not mean escaping from a corrupted state to a better state by necessity. This is the most important factor at our disposal. this is why we study and try to understand why Kabbalists. in its initial mode.
This transformation will happen under the influence of enormous suffering of which Baal HaSulam writes in his article “The Last Generation. However. It is therefore called the path of suffering. Imagine how much suffering every person and humanity. it will annihilate all the evil in the world and everyone will be sure of a healthy and full life. some causality. as humanity evolves. When the whole world agrees to set itself free and annihilate the will to receive for its own sake. How much of his own evil should each one of us realize? Just imagine what a horrible future is ahead of us in such a case! On the other hand. This desire weakens the body with disease and pain. as a whole will have to go through in order willingly to get rid of egoism as a source of suffering. In other words.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R turned into the will to bestow. and the people who try to follow the right path. atrocities. on all our levels suffering is determined by our common egoism. Suffering is only given to us to discover the insignificance and harm of the will to receive. although they know nothing about Kabbalah as a method of achieving happiness. When the whole world agrees to set itself free and annihilate egoistical desires. That is. there is a goal in suffering. when it chooses to acquire the will to bestow. by attracting the Upper Light into this world. this suffering will only increase up to the point of becoming so unbearable that everyone will want to get rid of his own egoism just to stop suffering. from which we cannot escape. We already give them some subconscious inner factors that help them quickly find correct answers to their questions about suffering. and wars. Naturally. We see how a new per162 . this becomes the cause of suffering. because each one will have the whole world taking care of him and his needs. replace bodily suffering (from their unsatisfied egotism) with purposeful ones. when everyone only desires to receive for his own sake. even our small groups relieve people from suffering.” and which the ancient prophets predicted to us pointing at our time as a beginning of this period. everyone will only have the desire to give to others.
So we should not be thinking of the enormous sufferings awaiting us. whereas the newcomers are so quick in the uptake. he can imagine them in all possible variations. By increasing the number of people studying Kabbalah. That is. This happens because we have paved the way for them. Moreover. All we will have left to do is to show that there is a method of turning this evil to good. Since man’s relations with the Creator are hidden from him. The path of suffering is quite capable of pushing us towards this desired condition. Thus. because giving to others leads to bestowal upon the Creator. the sooner the person realizes the reason for his suffering. and attain the perfect form of desire to bestow. but none of us will know for sure. where and how can I recognize evil? Where is it and what is its purpose? I can understand it faster by working with my friends in a group. we help the world to reach the realization of evil faster.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R son comes to a group and without knowing or understanding what the group is doing. until our eyes open and we see our true relations with the Creator. perfection and wisdom. the faster he will attain the Upper World. It took those who have studied for a long time months or years to reach this level. 163 . In the near future humanity will clearly understand that egoism is the source of every evil. in no time adapts himself to what is being taught there. That is. compel us to get rid of the evil egoism of our body. eternity. Know that the commandments pertaining to relations among people are more important than man’s relations with the Creator are. every generation that is engaged in spiritual work similarly influences all the consecutive generations. the sooner his group will be able to help him. This is why it is said that relations among people are more effective for finding evil than relations between man and the Creator. we can see that all suffering in our world exists only to open our eyes.
because our third state (the future state) is guaranteed by the presence of state one.. as a desire to bestow. The one who will receive it in the future is similar to the one who has 164 . we can now answer the first question: “What is our essence?”.e. every one of us has an opportunity to create a small society in which he can work on his inner changes. because it is the essence of all the realms of Creation. On the other hand. 20. the relations among the members of a group as with opponents. Not in the way it appears to us in state two (in the uncorrected condition. as a will to receive for oneself alone (egoistical desire). which represent no more and no less than the desire to receive. But even though in reality we have not yet achieved state three (in our sensations) and still remain within the limits of time (i.what is our essence. but in state one. A huge society is purposefully created around every single one of us. in our eternal form. agreements and disagreements among them . antagonists or as real friends moving towards the mutual goal. a laboratory in which the person can quickly discover the reason for his terrible states. The fact that we are now in the state of imperfection.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R At the same time. We have it all. it does not in the least diminish our essence (the question was . we are still ascending the levels of correction). after all the stages of descent of the worlds and Sefirot). in the world of Infinity. to please the Creator. This is precisely why we are given this world and our life among other people. far from perfection. It follows that we are a “desire to receive pleasure” created by the Creator. so we just need to accomplish it. He will understand how by making necessary changes he can attain the Upper World. After all the research we have done so far.all of this is a testing ground. does not diminish our inner essence).
You live in the anticipation of the evening. Baal HaSulam says that even though in reality we have not reached state three and remain confined within the bounds of time.e. This resembles a person who.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R already received it (if he knows exactly what he receives and is absolutely confident in his future state). we would not feel any problems. This is because anticipation is caused by the Surrounding Light. this does not in the least diminish our essence. but only if we possess the Reflected light. You are confident that it will be something really special. and enlightening. not egoism. when we achieve it. be165 . In this case. as the Ohr Makif (the Surrounding Light) is shining upon us. it comes from outside. It is unlimited because I receive the light from afar. it is around me. anticipation of a better state is sometimes much more powerful then the actual state. Your whole day completely changes. but a desire to bestow. even in state two. something wonderful. it would already be shining upon us today. with all the responsibilities and tasks he needs to do during the day. by my desires. any imperfections. and it would be like being within that Light. Oftentimes. It is as the light of Infinity. Why? It will only happen in the evening! You draw upon yourself that future state in advance. and it is not limited by my Kelim. Therefore. when the person is controlled by his egoistical desires. so anticipation of it is always much more promising and exciting than the feeling of the actual pleasure.. Therefore. i. because we would receive the luminescence from our future state three. even in our uncorrected states. It would already be shining upon us from afar. If we had “faith”. awaits the evening when he will receive something extraordinary. we would then feel our third state in advance. if we could only see our future state (it is only possible in the Reflected Light). something exciting. even now we can be in that state (although we really are in state two) by receiving the luminescence of state three. it is not inside of my Kelim.
The evil body (our uncorrected desires) that we received at present does not diminish our essence. let us look at the following picture.e. The Creator created. it is as if he achieves state three. This desire is eternal.the system of impure forces. It is invariable and therefore eternal. when there is a lack of faith) whether he would complete everything he is supposed to complete in the given time. Everything depends on acquiring the attributes of Bina (faith). the will to receive pleasure. and if we rise above it and look behind and ahead of us. As soon as that happens. However. Life and death of the body become irrelevant. The time factor becomes a problem when the person has doubts (i. because it is the property of the Source of life. from top down. 166 . The one that disappears is similar to that which has already vanished. because the body with all of its acquisitions will disappear together with its source . the light of state three will start shining upon us. So what is our task today? What is the most important thing to do? We should immediately feel Infinity. If the Creator is the light. And he who will receive in the future is similar to the one who already received. Yetzira. then egoism disappears and the perfect state begins to shine upon us. as if it had never existed. which is rooted in the system of four pure worlds: Atzilut. This will to receive is the desire to feel Him. Assiya. Beria. the state of absolute attainment and omnipresence. Since the person achieves such a state when he has no more doubts.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R cause our future state three is guaranteed to us by the present state one. This is what the Creation looks like from the next level.. the essence of the soul dressed in the body is only the desire to bestow. eternity. In order to have a better understanding. then the desire to receive is the desire to feel the light.
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Bina This desire is neither good nor bad. Do not be led astray by the philosophers who say that the essence of the soul is a substance of the mind and that it only exists through the concepts it learns and from there it grows and they are its essence. and the intentions on how to use that desire. That is all. Because of the breaking of the vessels. there remains nothing to continue. That superstructure appears above the desire. Therefore there are the desire. it is the essence of Creation. the light or the source of the light (the Creator). The question of the continuance of the soul after the departure of the body depends solely on the extent of concepts it has acquired. until in the absence of such concepts. it received from Bina the intention on how to use the desire: for oneself alone or for the Creator. 21. 167 .
and anyone who ever tried to acquire some knowledge knows and feels that the mind itself is a possession and not the possessor. Therefore. 168 . If we had different senses. not as air. which in turn create certain thoughts and knowledge that are sufficient to satisfy those needs. thoughts and ideas all aim to satisfy those desires. it is the will to receive. their needs. those whose will to receive is limited to beastly desires. The world would have a completely different degree of density and other perceived qualities. we would feel the world quite differently. as we have said. Nevertheless. Moreover. Our essence is the will to receive. solid bodies or liquid. we understand that the world we feel around us is nothing more than the result of our subjective perception. all the substance of the renewed creation.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Philosophy states that man’s existence depends on his knowledge of nature. For instance. The way the world exists around us is merely a consequence of our internal states. both the substance of spiritual objects and the substance of corporeal objects. Our essence is not the mind. thoughts and ideas. so are their needs. It is also unaccepted by the heart. Just as human desires differ from one another. any difference between one essence and another lies in their respective desires to receive that generate needs within every essence. Our mind is created to satisfy these desires. What is contained in this knowledge? It is just an understanding of what exists outside of me. gaseous and plasma states of matter. is this knowledge absolute? Even through research. desires are the very core of whatever is within us. First. is no more and no less than a will to receive. That is why philosophy's stipulation that man's life is dependent upon his conception of the outer world cardinally contradicts the opinion of Kabbalah.
three. we should indirectly find a way to speed up their development and transition from the animate level to the human and from the human to the spiritual. two. human. one. Consequently. animate. we cannot do anything with people. 169 . and spiritual. vegetative. we would not be able to give him anything that is out of tune with his desires. The current level of development of his desires constitutes his true state. while the end of it is similarity to the Creator. We live in a society where everyone has his own desires. We cannot affect them from outside. there are five levels of desires: still. Zero. human. animate. This point is a beginning of the spiritual desire. every person exists at a certain level of development: still. Desires evolve naturally up to the spiritual level. five kinds of ego. However.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R People only differ in the combinations of their desires. because his essence is a desire. if the person reaches a level where he passes from human desires to spiritual ones. whereas the development of the point in the heart may follow either the path of Torah or the path of suffering. In every one of us. a point in his heart emerges and he starts to feel something. and four are five types of desires (or five types of Dargot Aviut). Such is the way of correction. This is the way people evolve. Unless the person’s desires change. vegetative. no matter what pressure we put upon them. Somehow. Moreover. or spiritual.
as we attract the Surrounding Light upon us. Some people come to us with their desires being only on the still. In other words. and human levels. This will lead the world towards a perfect state. The one who reached a certain level only wants to fulfill the desires at that level. we need to determine whether they already reached the necessary level. For instance. Human desires include cravings for wealth. honor. for he perceives them as quite unreal. the people whose level of desire is below the level of the point in the heart will never understand us. has the point in their hearts awakened? If yes. we should relate to it correspondingly. In other words. Therefore. Having no such desires. Therefore. thoughts and reasons are directed to 170 .I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R If people come to us. nor does he understand the desires above. each of us acts only from the level of desire that is developed in us. we gradually elevate them as well. vegetative. my group. Therefore Baal HaSulam says that the most important thing is not human knowledge or thoughts. I seek such people to build a force around me that would help me to advance in the right direction. those whose desire to receive is limited only to animal types of pleasure. take a simple person from a village. The only thing we can do for people and for ourselves is to stimulate a rapid evolution of desires. More and more people have come to us recently with greater inner readiness to adopt our material at an ever-accelerating pace. but desires. animate. and knowledge. an ordinary person does not want to be a millionaire. to paint and discover nature’s secrets. He is neither interested in desires below this level. then this is my society. for he has already overgrown them. Similarly. he will simply not understand. Any desire below that level is considered natural. hence. Nevertheless. fame. their needs. For instance. However. he will not be able to understand anything. quickly and painlessly. start telling him how good it is to write music. until the person’s desires change. everyone understands only through the point of his desire.
those with the desire to receive generally require all their needs. Mind. which is not available to the animal type. since they are enslaved to animal desire and its service. in spite of their self-confidence and understanding. and knowledge are meant to serve the desires. who. However. All differences between people come from this point. Again. 171 .I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R fulfilling this desire in his animal entirety. their main needs. thoughts. those whose desire to receive demands by and large human delights such as honor. it is time for them to grow up). which they receive from the Upper Worlds and from which they descend. and knowledge only to fulfill entirely this desire. After its investing into a man’s body. what are their real desires? In fact. Sometimes we see influential and very self-confident individuals. thoughts. Thus. This is the essence of the soul. power (control) over others. the souls of people with their spiritual investing the Reflected light (Ohr Hozer). but everyone combines them in different proportions. find only the desire to bestow. according to their spiritual value. it bears in it the necessities. thoughts and knowledge are intended only for the completion of their desires. These three kinds of desires predominate in every man. 23. apparently. understand what they are living for. to fulfill them. Even though they use human reason and knowledge for this purpose (in fact. you can draw an analogy to spiritual properties. thoughts. pleasing the Creator according to the value of the soul’s desire. 22. they only want to acquire something in this life and content themselves with it. Speaking about material properties. as much as possible. the intention for the sake of the Creator. their mind is as the mind of an animal. and intellect that are aimed at giving. On the other hand.
but where are all those achievements and pleasures that we so enjoyed some time ago? All of them disappear and the person is left with nothing at the end of his life. Thus. do we need always to loose the previous one to get a new fulfillment? The fact is that such is the law of impure forces called Klipot. in order accomplish state three at the End of Correction. 24. without leaving anything after them. investing them with the intention for the sake of the Creator. we begin to understand the Creator and enter Infinity and Perfection. The same desires remain. they just acquire an opposite direction. We attain the true creation breaking free from our present existence. in our egoistical state. the essence of the body is only the desire to receive for itself in all its manifestations and with all its acquisitions. rise above the level of life and death. They cannot receive more than a small spark of light and are therefore unable to get the next fulfillment before they get rid of their previous tiny portion. Everything it gets is just for filling this depraved desire to receive that has been created only to be destroyed and to disappear from the world (the intention for one’s own sake is meant). for all its acquisitions are slipping by like a shadow. This can be compared with our own experience in this world. of course. we continue working with our desires. they obviously acquire different filling. However.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Baal HaSulam says that as we advance and work in contact with the Creator. We have already lived here for a few decades. imperfect. with the change of direction. Why are they not accumulating in us? Why do we not feel greater satisfaction every time? Why. In addition. 172 . That is why it (our egoistical intention) is mortal and.
emptying and filling. This continues at the same level. and completely disappear. we are already in that state. This is what Baal HaSulam says. up and down. If the person tunes himself up this way. What does the second intermediate state mean? This is my starting point from which I should attain my true state three. Therefore. The egoistical body is our intention to receive for ourselves. deliverance from the uncorrected body makes her stronger. for all its acquisitions are slipping by like a shadow. In fact. without leaving anything after them. Thus. Baal HaSulam says: That is why it is mortal and. imperfect. like small vibrations: up and down. We just need to feel it. be buried. But what should disappear? By the shroud. Try to tune yourselves to this feeling: we exist in the world of Infinity. All her manifestations and acquisitions are filled with the desire that exists already as in the eternal state 1 and in the future state 3. 173 . the shroud will disappear along with all of its manifestations and the eternal. Nothing new ever happens in the world. the essence of the soul is just the desire to bestow. This way.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R This is the essence of our life: exhalation and inhalation. he will eventually start feeling it. On the contrary. we mean our egoistical body that is destined to die. We just need to discover it. of course. of which we perceive only a tiny fragment. infinite world will emerges. My eyes begin to open and I gradually reveal the Infinity in my sensations. At the same time. Moreover. so that she can rise up to paradise (Gan Eden). our entire life is made of such periods of intermittent emptiness and fulfillment. our gradual advancement towards state three and its gradual manifestation represent the stages of the path that we have to go through.
Thus. The soul is eternal. but on a change of desires and intentions.e. that is.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Paradise. Therefore the Kabbalist. and does not represent her. Why do we have to struggle through these purposely-confusing ideas in the texts of Kabbalists? According to what we saw in previous articles. The knowledge that she obtained is her reward. The eternity of the soul is in her essence. or the Garden of Eden. it is the desire to receive initially created with the intention for the sake of the Creator. The true knowledge is the Ohr Hochma that enters into the corrected intentions. the soul and her correction depend not on knowledge. the dead (i. half-asleep. unless it is decomposed. we have made plain that the eternity of the soul does not depend on the knowledge it has. why does it come back and revive by rising from the dead? As it is said by the sages. is Malchut of the world of Atzilut that acquired the properties of Bina. all these egoistical intentions for oneself) are resurrected with all their shortcomings. we will find a complete solution to the fifth analysis. 25. lost. even though he writes such articles as we study now that are supposed to shed some light on our state. in her desire to bestow. He wants us. From this. so that nobody could say that they are not the same bodies. His intentions with regard to us are very different.. the pure soul (by soul we mean the Upper Light that enters into the intention for the sake of the Creator) cannot enter into it. He does not demand from us an understanding of the 174 . is least of all concerned about our understanding of what he wants to say. as philosophers consider. where we asked if it is the case that the body is so imperfect (by body we only mean the egoistical desire with the intention for oneself) that. unconscious and confused to follow his thoughts.
When we make our desires spiritual. and blind. It is utterly impossible. and laws rule on the higher level. It is of the animate level. our desires will change. The Kabbalist purposely muddles his texts. The person can never understand a higher state with the mind of a lower state. not the intellect. the intellect is the consequence of the necessity to escape suffering. even if you do not know the language or cannot “switch on” your brain today. It is truly so! Because the mind. elevate them even higher. because very different desires. If you do. lecturer. absorb and understand them. He will never rise to the next level before he understands it. going hand in hand with the Kabbalist who guides us. The only thing that matters is you desire to follow the author. as if we are small. That is. What he does demand is our presence in that chain of thought. spiritual desires. Just be with your teacher. because our intellect cannot function there. We always advance this way. this state of confusion. Never! The mind only develops in accordance with a change of desire. He wants us to follow him in the dark. because he wishes us to feel the need to cling to him. functions. then you ad175 . Therefore. Hold on to him like a small child. to correct them. which he unfolds before us. It functions only in our world. We should use our desires. That is why I am saying it again: it does not matter at all what your condition during the lesson is. incomprehension and ignorance is good. They will generate very different thoughts aimed at fulfilling these new. but our intention to merge with the Creator.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R text we are reading now. You should never hope first to find out something about the spiritual and then rise to the level of your knowledge. Hence. go along with him and he will lead you forward. teacher. not spiritual. We just need to realize that it is not the mind we have to use. it is said that suffering makes one wiser. helpless. the mind is a pure consequence of our desires and evolves together with them. The most important thing is your desire to go along with him. It does not matter how much you understand.
13 or 70 years. We also said that this huge desire to receive is the only new creation. with all their acquisitions in this world. This transition is conventionally called “13 years”. hence. this period is called the age before 13. After the age of 13. One thing the Creator needed for bestowing delight is the will to receive delight. so there was no need at all for something bigger to fulfill the plan of the creation. he implies a certain inner condition of the person. It is just an arbitrary number used by Baal HaSulam to confuse us. from state one. which is to correct his desire from egotistic to altruistic. They are the source of the bodies' provenance and existence. which is in the plan of creation. He created in us infinite desire). because you switch all of your energy from obtaining the spiritual information to gaining purely intellectual fulfillment. thus. With his perfect nature. with your inquiring mind. able to catch everything with your sharp intellect. before coming of age.e. We also said that this huge desire to receive had been completely expelled from the system of pure worlds and was given to the system of impure worlds. when you come to the class relaxed.. until a man reaches the age of thirteen (i. the Creator does not do anything superfluous. it without fail creates in souls a huge desire to receive this pleasure. you basically rob yourself. Thus. And vice versa. We said that. such as 40. You have to understand that this is from the plan of creation itself. When he mentions certain numbers. egoistical desires). as soon as the plan becomes to delight the creation. for a great pleasure requires a huge desire (the Creator wished to delight us with Infinity.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R vance. 176 . when we are under the power of egotistical desires – conventionally. our development can be divided into two periods: first. which has been created. a person with the help of higher light begins to comprehend his soul.
. He already exists at the expense of the pure worlds in accordance with the attainment of the soul. to decay. if that huge desire to receive from this world should disappear.e. remains uncorrected. vain. from this level the person starts to take interest in Kabbalah. All corrections that are the result of our work happen only with the soul (with the intention). and he absorbs it to the point when he finally begins to realize how harmful.. He completes the first stage of his development (realization of evil) and starts to correct himself and acquire pure intention. The soul ascending to higher levels of purity and sanctity merely increases the desire to bestow. he begins to obtain the screen that gives him the ability to work with his desires in the altruistic mode. the body. he is constantly given more and more egoism.e.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R That is. the person comes to a turning point where he feels the need to begin correcting his egoism. That is why the body is predestined to die. Finally. That is. This point is called “coming of age”. the huge desire to receive. i. Created beings would 177 . It was also said that during 6000 years that were given us for the work on corrections. the person exists under the power of impure worlds. From this point on. i. and evil it is. the plan of creation will not be fulfilled. before he reaches the state called “13 years”. Alas. he is considered an adult. because it does not make any correction and cannot really exist like that. to be buried. In this state.
000 years is a gradual transition from the intention for its own sake to the intention for the sake of Creator. The next stage marks the achievement of final and complete correction. After that.000 years. the desire is corrected together with the intention. At that. What is “infinite form”? It means no limitation for any of the original desires. This constitutes the seventh millennium. the Kli exists in its infinite form. the same Malchut acquires egotistical intentions for itself. In the seventh millennium. The work during 6. the enjoyment from receiving diminishes as well at the same level. An enormous desire to receive delight and great pleasure correlate to one another. our ego. At first. The end of that period marks a complete acquisition of the altruistic intention. when the intention for the sake of the Creator prevails. Malchut “destroys” itself. since it wishes gradually to acquire the desire for the sake of the Creator. Creation is a desire and everything that is above it is intention.called “dead” rise from their graves and gradually join with the pure intention for the sake of Creator. At the next stage.Malchut and the light. As soon as the desire to receive diminishes. We call it Shevira. the body is not taken into consideration. we receive an egoistical intention that is directed towards ourselves. There is the original desire . It is being constantly destroyed. the will to receive is resurrected. Intention is a superstructure built above desire. What is Baal HaSulam trying to say? He talks about the stages of our development. and this is what our essence is. The Creator created desire. and it only appears to correct this desire and make it similar to the Creator. After that. There exist only the Creator and His Creation. When the intention for the sake of Creator is fully obtained. when the so. We then transform it into its opposite. The next stage is uncorrected. The intention for the 178 .I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R not receive all the great pleasures that He planned for them. This transformation takes place during the so-called 6.
as in state one.. where all is inside it. He also created state three. nothing less was planed Baal HaSulam says that the Creator created Malchut in the center of the world of Infinity. according to the plan of creation. As was already said. So what is the difference? The difference lies in the fact that in the first case only Malchut constituted creation. This is state one. filled with the light. in which Malchut exists in the state of Infinity. which we refer to as “the world of Infinity” or the Creator. We do not study what happens with the creation after that. 26.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R sake of Creator makes Creation entirely similar to Him.e. Malchut is inside the light called the world of Infinity. This is because having gone through the so-called period of correction it passed from state one to state three. correction with the help of the light) or the path of suffering. state one obliges state three to exist. We can achieve state three either by taking the path of Torah (i. Malchut became similar to the entire volume. now it expanded and filled the entire volume of the world of Infinity. 179 . It has appeared in all its completeness.
we have an opportunity to obtain the abundance and pleasure that is in the plan of creation. which ascends together with these enjoyments. Time and correction do not exist for the Creator. this desire is complemented with a huge “makeweight” – the intention for oneself. gradually pass from one state to the other. This negative intention goes through a period called the “realization of evil”. At a later stage. The first one is called “construction of the worlds”. Work begins anew in order to turn the enormous desire to receive into the desire to bestow for the sake of the Creator. in which the will to receive pleasure was created. because with regard to Him both these states are quite obvious and real. with all its former shortcomings. and is completely rejected by the person (considered “dead”). The person who studies Kabbalah acquires the intention for the sake of the Creator with the help of the Upper Light. In other words.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R In any case. The first stage necessitates the existence of the third one. and decayed in state two (during correction). Only we. Here we win twice: First. that is. both states are identical as regards the Creator. Baal HaSulam wishes to tell us that state one. ended. the second – “correction” and the third – “ascent of the souls”. is a minimal natural desire. receiving in this way will be equal to the desire to delight the Creator and will be a “pure” bestowal. their huge desire to receive that became worthless. in its enormous proportions without any reduction. 180 . It must again rise from the dead. That is. we gain the equivalence of properties with the Creator. We already have a huge desire to receive. So. which is complete merging of our state one with state three. who are moving along this path. Secondly. This transition consists of several stages. state one obliges the resurrection of the dead bodies.
There are several stages in our development. Later we acquire the egoistical intention called our “ego”. our desires are not taken into consideration regardless of what they are and what form they take. Being our natural properties. the person becomes completely similar to the Creator. When desires are used with the intention for the sake of the Creator. At first.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R That accomplished. the person attaches his desires to the acquired intention and “resurrects” them. The intention (for what purpose we use our desires) is critical. 181 . we only have one desire.
we do not consider it as theft. we do not consider them egoists. nor our desires. we begin to feel our own evil. In our view. This happens because under the influence of the Upper Light. we add AHP to Galgalta ve Eynaim. they resemble small animals. At some stage we begin to perceive ourselves as egoists. Evil begins when I acquire the egoistical intentions. resurrection cannot take place before the End of Correction.e. Indeed. mean. we form a complete Partzuf consisting of Ten Sefirot similar to the Creator. the intention for the sake of the Creator. I detach myself from my previous intentions. the Surrounding light descends upon us. we will make a kind of Tzimtzum Aleph and be ready to receive only spiritual properties. As we reach a state when we can neither use the intention for our own sake. At the next stage. evil people totally opposite to anything spiritual.. and acquire the intention for the sake of the Creator under the influence of the Upper Light. Thus. and now revived. I then recognize them as “dead” and refrain from using them. at the end of state two. Baal HaSulam says: resurrection of the dead (i. considered dead before. We judge every action by the intention that stands behind it. a new Kli. This is the AHP that we ignored. as something evil. neutralize my desires. our desires and intentions we refused to use) takes place when we acquire the intention for the sake of the Creator (Kelim de Ashpa’a).I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Whatever desires our children may have. and we treat them with kindness. As soon as we receive it. If a child takes something that does not belong to it. The next stage is the reception of Masach (or “faith”). The first stage continues as we study Kabbalah. 27. that is. Baal HaSulam writes about these stages in item 26. we proceed to the next stage called “resurrection” and “similarity to the Creator”. 182 . During our studies.
or as Torah describes it. So the revival of the dead desires. Now it does not threaten us any more with a separation from our merging with the Creator. Haya. Ruach. and Yechida. we were privileged to attain the levels of the soul that are called Nefesh. This is true about any particular bad property. Therefore after we achieved the eradication of our huge desire to receive and earned the desire to bestow. not a word of what we say refers to our biological bodies. by adding the desires of the body (AHP ( ) we get over it and give it the form of bestowal (similarity to the Creator). Neshama. On the contrary. Naturally. We only speak of desires. 183 . Whatever is found in our world has no continuation. We gained the greatest perfection so that the body arises from the dead in all its enormous desire to receive. “resurrection of the dead” happens right before the End of correction.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Reception of the Galgalta ve Eynaim is called “acquisition of the intention for the sake of the Creator”. The subsequent adding of the AHP occurs when we resurrect our old previously unused desires.
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Baal HaSulam says that first of all. we acquire a new desire. At the beginning.e. Then you can come back (by gradually attaching the AHP). we have to give it up completely so that nothing of it remains (i. we just study and gradually conclude that all we are made of is evil. we reject our original desires and make a Tzimtzum on them. We then obtain Faith and the Kelim of Galgalta ve Eynaim and ascend them. get it over again. Starting with the pe184 . completely neutralize it).. Our third action is the resurrection of our old desire. and bring it (AHP ( ) to the middle line. It deals fairly with any individual bad property that we want to get rid of. This period is very long. Secondly. At the beginning. He says that we apply the same method in our world.
By acquiring the GE we gradually attach to ourselves the AHP. Real bestowal can only be at the last levels three and four. When the Kelim of GE are all I have. I only learn how to bestow. the resurrection of the dead takes place right before the Gmar Tikkun (End of Correction). Hence. three and four (resurrection of the dead). 185 . The similar process takes place in the worlds as well. “Resurrection of the dead” is the AHP de Aliya. We exist in this world. acquire the Kelim of GE (Aviut 0 and 1) and finally reach the Aviut 2 (absolute Faith). because only reception for the sake of the Creator is considered bestowal. does he become similar to the Creator. The seizure of evil occurs when the Machsom is crossed. Only at this level can the similarity to the Creator be achieved. cross the Machsom. when by receiving pleasure the person pleases the Creator.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R riod of “resurrection of the dead” we begin to attach to ourselves the AHP. Only when the person can start raising his AHP.
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R
28. As it is said by the sages, “In the future, the dead will rise with
their defects and then will make a complete recovery”. That is, at
the beginning, the same egoistical body rises from the dead. It is a
huge, limitless desire to receive, one that was nurtured by the system
of impure forces before it was honored to be purified by the light with
the help of Kabbalah.
Of course, this is an allegory. No dead bodies are going to rise from
their graves. When we begin to work with our previously dead AHP, it
appears in all its original vileness ((Aviut 3 and 4). We begin to correct
the emerging egoism on the last levels of similarity to the Creator. Prior
to that, it was only the period of preparation. Although we are in the
spiritual world, these are just the Kelim de Ashpa’a (vessels of bestowal).
However, at the levels three and four, we achieve reception for the sake
of bestowal, which is equivalent to absolute bestowal.
We completely rid ourselves of egoistical desires, acquire altruistic
intentions, and begin to resurrect our dead desires from the smallest to
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the biggest, while attaching them to the altruistic intentions. Such is the
order of correction.
Thus, all of our desires recover and achieve the similarity of properties
with the Creator. From this, we can understand why the dead
must rise from their graves with all their defects. The expression
“Nobody would say that these are different bodies” means: no one
would say that this form is different from the one that was in the
Thought of creation. The huge desire to receive the abundance of
the plan of creation was only temporarily given into the power of the
Klipot… (the intention for oneself).
As a result, the desire is given to the person to correct with the intention “for the sake of the Creator”. He not only becomes similar to the
Creator in his actions, he becomes equal to Him in that he achieves the
ultimate level of existence. He not only enters the Creator’s sensations,
but also attains the Thought of creation, eternity, perfection, infinity,
and absolute freedom.
At that, our world loses its significance, disappears from the sensations of the person who now includes all the other souls.
We should reach this state while living in this world. We should
attain and feel all the spiritual levels while being in our biological body.
Everyone has this opportunity.
29. From all we have explained, it is possible to answer the second
question: What is our role in the long chain of reality in which we
are small links throughout our short life?
We come to this world to spend some 60-70 years and have no
clue how we are going to live them or what we can make out of this life.
The first 20-30 years are spent to reach adulthood. The last years do not
count, because we grow too weak, indifferent, and tired. All we have left
is a few years to ask a question about the meaning of life and understand
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What are we and what is our purpose, how can we do or influence
something, if our conscious existence is so brief? Why are we so sensitive
to this question that animals never ask themselves?
This is what Baal HaSulam says:
You should know that our work during the years of our life consists
of 4 periods. In the first period, the person acquires a huge, limitless
desire to receive in all its depravity, while remaining under the power
of the system of the 4 impure worlds of ABYA. This is the AHP,
which we gradually destroy. Why does man first acquire enormous
desires from all the Klipot? Unless we had that uncorrected desire to
receive, we would not be able to correct it, because you can correct
only the properties that you have.
Our first steps consist in acquiring as many desires as we can, although we aspire for the spiritual! Actually, we do not strive to satisfy
our egoistical desires. Yet, as the person’s spiritual aspirations grow, his
egoistical desires awaken and develop as well. Hence the words: “He who
aspires higher than others has bigger egoism” are very true.
Do not be surprised by the growing feeling of our egoism. This
happens not only because we understand ourselves better, but also because bigger egoistical properties are revealed in us. This way, we acquire
the Kelim of the AHP, the egoistical vessels in their egoistical form (with
the intention for oneself).
Hence, the desire to receive, which our body has from its birth in this
world, is not enough… For a certain amount of time we should
be under the influence of the Klipot, i.e., we unconsciously
and unwillingly let the egoistical desires grow in us.
The period during which the egoistical desires grow in the person
is called “13 years”. This means that impure forces should control the person
and give him some of their light under the influence of which his desire to receive
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would grow, because the pleasures which impure forces supply the desire to receive
extend and increase his demands.
Affected by the Upper Light, egoism grows day by day, because we
need more and more of this light. By His purposeful influence, the Creator causes our egoism to grow.
For example, when man is born, there is a desire only for one portion,
no more. When the impure forces fill the desire with this portion, the
desire to receive doubles immediately. When the impure forces satisfy
the increased desire, it extends and wishes to receive four times more
Unless the person begins to limit himself and acquire the intention for the sake of the Creator (the Kelim of GE), unless he purifies
himself, severs all ties with egoism and makes a Tzimtzum Aleph (does
away with his AHP), he will continue chasing various pleasures of this
world. Every time he receives some satisfaction from the Klipa, his desire
would become twice as big as before. Hence, it is said:
If the person does not purify the desire to receive in order to turn it
into bestowal, it grows during his lifetime, until he dies without gaining
the desired objective.
This is what happens with us during all our incarnations, until we
really understand that the pursuit of pleasure never leads to fulfillment.
I was asked by a local TV station to comment on Madonna’s visit
to Israel and her plans to make a video clip about Kabbalah. People want
to know why she decided to do it in Israel. The presenters were genuinely puzzled asking why would someone who has seemingly everything,
millions of dollars, influence and fame, all of a sudden seek Kabbalah,
come to Israel, although the situation here is rather volatile. Why would
Madonna be promoting Kabbalah?
I told them that the person comes to a state, when he or she ostensibly achieved in this life all he ever wanted. Nevertheless, he suddenly re189
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alizes that he in fact has nothing. He understands that by increasing his
desires he will only intensify his suffering, i.e., he will increase the emptiness of his Kelim, his sensations. So instinctively, he begins to search for
an alternative method of fulfillment and discovers that this method is at
a level that is higher than the usual pursuit of pleasures.
We see that, after satisfying their big desires, people like Madonna
suddenly feel that it is not the end, that there is more pleasure waiting
to be received. These desires are purely egoistical, but unfortunately, the
hosts of the TV show do not feel that way. Everything depends on the
level of development of egoism.
Thus, the person is under the power of the Klipot and impure forces.
Their task is to extend and increase his desire to receive and make it
limitless in order to show him the material (all of his AHP) which he
should work on and correct.
Until the person receives this AHP, until he perceives it as dead,
unfit to be used for receiving pleasure, he will continue reincarnating
By feeling his dead desires that are totally unable to give him a genuine fulfillment, the person will begin to soar and acquire new, sublime
Kelim of GE. This only happens after the realization of evil.
This process can be accelerated. We should not try to get everything
in the world, while receiving blows each time something is achieved with
no fulfillment. We do not have to go all the way to the end, when we can
save time and avoid suffering with the help of the Upper Light.
By attracting the Upper Light, we see how defective all of our Kelim
) are. We have not yet used it, but we see how evil and opposite to
the light it is. Therefore, we need not spend many more lives to discover
the fallaciousness of the egoistical fulfillment.
This is what we call time contraction; this is what the method of
Kabbalah is about. We need to draw the Surrounding light, and by using
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it, quickly go through the period of realization, correction, and ascent to
All the stages of this path are predetermined. The only thing that
depends on us is the acceleration of time. Without plunging into negative sensations and clashing with our own egoism, we can see the vileness
of egoism in advance and avoid its blows.
This is achieved by the most intensive drawing of the Upper Light,
which is only possible with the help of a group, of friends who aspire to the
Goal together. I can attract the Surrounding light that affects all of us.
If we join our forces, we will make a breakthrough towards the end
of state one. If we accumulate the light that everyone can attract, we all
would feel its influence and realize our own evil so intensively that we
would desire to obtain the Kelim of GE (properties of bestowal). Therefore, everything depends exclusively on our intention, on how much we
are prepared to adopt this method.
30. The second period is from 13 on (after we come to the
realization of the dead state, AHP), when strength is given to
the point in the heart of man. It is the opposite side of the pure soul
clothed in the desire to receive from the moment of his birth.
That is, from the moment of birth, we possess the egoistical Kelim
that keep growing until we wish completely to reject them. Only then
does our point in heart awaken. Even before we reach the level of “13
years”, we feel it as an aspiration for the Creator, but it is still suppressed
by our egoistical desires. As soon as we see their evil and vileness and
relinquish them, the point in heart emerges and manifests.
Awakening does not come before one reaches the level of “13 years”.
After that, a man begins to pass into the power of a system of the
pure worlds because of his study of Kabbalah. The main purpose
during this period is to obtain a spiritual desire and to increase it (to
reach GE, i.e., the properties of Bina, the screen, Faith, Kelim
In order to develop in himself altruistic intentions in state two. Thus. enormous AHP.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R de Ashpa’a). notwithstanding that during 13 years he gains a huge desire to receive (feels his AHP in this first period). If for example. and neutralized them in state one. the person only seeks to satisfy his material desires. 192 . After the first period. Therefore. the essence of the huge desire to receive is to gain spirituality. like a fleeting shadow. everyone appears in it for a brief moment and then disappears. he wants to absorb all the abundance of the eternal world to come for his own pleasure. What is he going to build his screen on? The screen is built on desires. So what is next? The desires he restricted in state one belong to this small. the person should lean on new desires for the spiritual world. The end of development of the desire to receive is an aspiration to spirituality. he acquires the eternal. and egoistical world. Therefore. From his birth. his development is not finished yet. simple. yet he restricted. it is known that this world is not everlasting and that. during 13 years his desire to receive aimed at receiving wealth and honor in this material world. When he gains the huge desire to receive spirituality. destroyed. the person makes the First Restriction (Tzimtzum Aleph) and starts working with the vessels of bestowal in order to acquire a screen.
with the AHP. which are much greater than “our world”. When he reaches the level of “Gadlut” (big state). We are now in the middle of the process of realizing evil. Hotem and Peh). he attaches to himself the AHP (levels of Awzen. Here he begins to build his new desires: two. i. fame. At this stage. he achieves the states of Bina.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R First. we will be building our GE and working with the “dead bodies”. He builds his altruistic Kelim (GE) on the enormous egoistical desires zero and one. After that. Feeling them as evil. and knowledge. 193 . the Masach.e. Now he has GE. This happens in all of our previous incarnations. and four. he becomes similar to the Creator. This is what the entire path of man is like. three. or Faith. he grows his desires of this world up to the level of “13 years”. This state is called “Katnut” (small state). honor. he restricts them (makes Tzimtzum Aleph) and begins to acquire other desires that develop on spiritual levels. This stage will be followed by the correction of the Lev HaEven when we achieve complete similarity to the Creator. They in turn separate into animate desires and the desires for wealth.. or as we say.
He says that the problem starts not in this world. who fall into the trap of hell. give. Our sages say: “The leech has two daughters. The sinners. crying. but at the stage that follows.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Baal HaSulam describes these stages of our development in a different way. This is because all the spiritual roots have their reflections in our world. uses a different language. give (Proverbs 30. How does it happen? Here is what the Kabbalist says: 31. Baal HaSulam may use the language of the Torah (the Bible or Talmud) to demonstrate that all the sacred books write about the same topic: the path man must traverse and how he will do that. 194 . We can look upon the states either from the point of the light (the NaRaNHaY NaRaNHaY). because man’s desires begin to grow. We can also divide them into periods that presumably correspond to a human life. The Klipot (impure forces) emerge and enable the person to transform their influence into something opposite and pure. or from the point of the Kelim (the Sefirot). 15)”: “A leech means Hell (hell is a forced use of the egoistical properties).
that is. “–2” into 195 . “the house-maid serves her mistress”. there must be periods when we receive uncorrected desires and correct them. Unless the person makes an effort to apply the right method of spiritual ascent. above is the place of Kedusha. Therefore. to serve the Holy Shechina. he falls more and more into the Klipot.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R bark like dogs: “Bow-wow” (“Hav-Hav” – Heb. meaning – “give us the wealth of this world and the wealth of the world to come”. the intention for the sake of the Creator. which is the meaning of the writing. It means that the maidservant symbolizes egoistical desires that lead to the spiritual level of bestowal. If he does not make every effort to reach the state of “Li Shema”.: give-give). who is the opposite of the “pure” one. when the person is awarded “the light of Shechina”. because this way he obtains the material for his work. The level at which the person works with the Klipot is very important. Therefore. Unless the person who studies Kabbalah begins to purify the acquired impure desires. He acquires the desires without which he cannot become similar to the Creator. the level that comes after 13 years is defined as “pure”. It is the person’s responsibility to do everything he can in order to gain the state of “Li Shema” (desire to bestow). The zero level corresponds to our natural petty egoism. unless he turns the property “–1” into “+1”. Below is the area of the Klipot. he will fall into the garbage bin of the “impure” maidservant.
The last level of this period is the desire to enjoy the Creator. etc. with an intention to pass himself of as an important Rabbi. It is also said about him. However. that is the five levels of the soul form the Tree of life for 5oo years. This resembles man in this world whose passionate desire is so great that it is burning in him day and night. he falls deeper and deeper under the power of the Klipot. 32. Ruach. which totals 500 years. It is defined similarly on all the levels: Nefesh. until his study of Kabbalah is for his selfish enjoyment. as it is said. for the sake of bestowal and not for receiving a reward. Therefore. and Yechida. Neshama. After man acquired all the egoistical desires. Every level lasts 100 years that brings the person to the reception of all these five levels of NaRaNHaY that become revealed in the third period. but the AHP as well. Why are there exactly 500 years? 500 years is a complete level. Haya. this is attained in the third period.. “A constant memory does not let me sleep”. because it consists of 10 Sefirot and each Sefira in its turn has ten sub-levels. This work purifies man’s desire to receive for himself and turns it into the desire to bestow.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R “+2”. Thus. that is. I 196 . not only the Galgalta ve Eynaim. “The tree of life is full of passion”. This means that man created the Kli and acquired for it the inner light called “100”. he begins to work for the Creator. he plunges into absolute impurity. Every level is called “100 years”. This means that the maidservant takes the place of her mistress and prevents the person from approaching the Holy Shechina. in order to lock people to him and to turn them into zombies. it is called “100”. The third period is in Torah and Commandments Li Shema. This is how the corrected Kli filled with the light is designated. the number "100" is considered a complete level. If Nefesh is a complete level.
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would like to remind you that “the desire to bestow” and “the desire to
receive” are just names. Human beings do not have pure desires to receive or to bestow. The desire to bestow is the Creator’s attribute, while
the desire to receive is man, creation. This is his property and there is
nothing else in him.
If man wishes to become similar to the Creator, he uses his desire
to receive for the sake of bestowal, i.e., he receives pleasure to please the
Creator. However, he still receives. Desires remain unchanged, only the
intention, the method of using the desire is modified. Therefore, when
we say that man passes from the “desire to receive” to the “desire to
bestow”, we ought to understand that he acquires a new intention for
the same old desire. This is why old desires with the intention for one’s
self are considered dead. At a later stage, they rise and become pure and
eternal, if man acquires the intention for the Creator’s sake instead of
the intention for himself.
Let me say this again: although Kabbalah is called a science, it is attained not in the mind of our world, but in the Upper mind. This world
is attained in its Kelim, in the mind of our world. To start attaining the
Upper World above the Machsom, one should acquire the mind that corresponds with the Upper World.
The mind of the Upper World is called “faith above reason”; it is
the property of bestowal. This property is exactly what constitutes the
mind in the Upper World. You may be sitting at the lesson and understand nothing. It does not matter. Just make an effort and this will attract the Upper Light. The Upper Light will create in you the Reflected
light, the correct intention. This intention is where you will feel the Upper World and receive the Upper mind.
This will happen not because you will be racking your brain, but
because while being confused, irritated and exhausted, you will continue
to aspire to Him. You will succeed not because you slept well and came
to the lesson in good spirits, with pen and paper, eager to research the
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Upper Realm as the scientists of our world. This will only happen because of your effort.
Quite the contrary, everything will work out from the state of confusion, disillusion, detachment, and weariness. When spirituality seems
insignificant and unreal, it means that you are in the most correct state
with regard to the Creator. If, while being in these states, you continue
aspiring to the Upper World, the necessary spiritual Kelim (spiritual
mind) will be formed in you.
Man rises to the level where so much light descends upon him that he
can already transform his desires into spiritual, altruistic.
As soon as man purifies the desire to receive, he becomes worthy and
ready to obtain the five parts of the soul that are called the NaRaNHaY. They are in the desire to bestow and cannot be clothed into the
body until the desire to receive has a power in him.
The soul has two components: one is the Kli that consists of five
parts: Keter, Hochma, Bina, ZA and Malchut. It is alternatively called the
body of the soul, or the Partzuf. Inside it there is the light called the
NaRaNHaY (Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Haya, and Yechida).
As soon as the egoistical intentions become altruistic, desires begin
to fill with the Upper Light to the extent of the Ohr Hassadim (or the Reflected light, or the screen – the definition is of no consequence). Keter,
Hochma, Bina, ZA, and Malchut are the five Kelim that are filled with the
five lights of the NaRaNHaY.
However, when man is honored to become entirely a desire to bestow
without receiving anything for one's self, he earns the same properties
that he has in his upper NaRaNHaY (descending from its source
in the world of Infinity from state one through the pure worlds of
ABYA). These properties descend upon him immediately and clothe
in him in accordance with the level.
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The fourth period is the work after rising from the dead. It means
that the desire to receive that completely disappeared, died and was
buried, rises from the dead in its biggest and worst appearance, as it
is said, “In the future, the dead will rise with all their defects”, and
then turn them into receiving for the sake of giving.
Some special individuals are given this work during their lifetime in
Baal HaSulam says that there are people, who complete this work
and reach the levels that are above the “resurrection of the dead”, when
Lev HaEven becomes completely corrected. This is the level we are destined to achieve.
33. Now, there is the sixth analysis left to understand. As it is said
by the sages, all worlds, upper and lower, were created only for man,
not for anything else. At first glance, it seems very strange that the
Creator has tried to create all of this for such an insignificant creature like man, who is like a grain of sand in this world in comparison
with the whole universe, let alone with the spiritual worlds.
The matter concerns man’s feelings, his mental and spiritual parameters. How can we compare ourselves with the Upper Worlds, when
even our world, our universe is a tiny grit in the great cosmos with regard
to the smallest level of the Upper World?
We are told that man is created to become the master of all the
worlds, to include all of them within him, and that nothing exists except
for man with all the worlds within him. How can this be? It utterly contradicts our ideas about ourselves, and the universe that we know by our
It is even stranger to realize why man needs all these Upper spiritual
worlds? What is this universe for? How can we use it? We do
not even properly know our own planet. We have no idea
of what is a couple of miles below us, or a couple of parsecs
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above us. Why do we need all that is created around us? Here
is what Baal HaSulam answers:
You should know that the Creator receives joy just from the gratification of those whom He has created, but only to the extent in which
creation feels Him, feels that He is giving and wishes to delight them.
He starts amusing Himself with them as a father who is playing with
his beloved son. As much as the son feels and recognizes the greatness and power of his father, he shows him all the treasures that he
prepared for him.
Read this again; As much as the son feels and recognizes the greatness
and power of his father (the Creator)… This means man acquires the properties of the Creator, for how else would he be able to understand?
Think carefully about what was said and then you can understand
and know the great amusement of the Creator with those perfect
souls that were honored to feel and understand His greatness throughout all the ways He has prepared for them, until they come up to the
relationship between father and son. Everything that was written is
for those who perceive the spiritual worlds.
Until we reach these levels and establish the same contact with the
Upper Force, we will not be able to understand the purpose of all that
was prepared for us. As much as we can feel the greatness of this power,
realize it on ourselves, and adopt its properties, we will begin to comprehend how we can rule over the universe and all the Upper Worlds in
place of the Creator. Only then shall we discover why He created such
immense and awesome worlds for us.
There is nothing more to say about it. It is enough to know that for
those pleasures and amusements, it was worth it for Him to create
all the worlds, both the Upper and the lower, which we are yet to
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34. In order to prepare His creatures to reach the aforementioned
exalted level, the Creator thought of four levels that evolve one out
of another. They are called still, vegetative, animate, and human,
and they are indeed the four phases of the will to receive that each of
the Upper Worlds consists of. For although the vast majority of the
will is in the fourth phase of the will to receive, it is impossible for it
to materialize all at once, except by the preceding three phases that
gradually expose and develop it, until its form has been completed.
Man gradually enters into the sensations of the Creator, becomes
similar to Him, masters the system of creation, and begins to rule over
the heritage that the Creator prepared for him. Man gradually ascends
the four levels still, vegetative, animate, and human, while attaining the
four degrees of comprehension of the universe.
These four levels exist in our will to receive and, by correcting each
of them, we ascend to the next level of sensation of power over the surrounding world.
35. In the first phase of the will to receive, called still, which is the
preliminary exposure of the egoistical desire in this corporeal world,
there is but a general movement that includes the whole of the still
category. But in particular items there is no apparent movement.
That is because the will to receive generates needs and the needs
stimulate movement that is sufficient to attain what it wants.
It is the same with us; the most important thing is desire. If there
is a desire, I will be able to make a move to receive what I want. If I feel
that I am too lazy, (What does it mean, to be lazy? – It means that my will
to receive is insufficient), I have to work on increasing my will to receive,
and then I will not be lazy anymore.
How can I make this happen within myself? Only with the help of
studies, contacts with others like me, by receiving the Kabbalistic method from the books, listening to what Kabbalists advise us.
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Our will to receive is small. To increase it to such an extent that we
break through the barrier into the spiritual, we need to turn our desire
from being small into being an all-conquering one. One can do this only
under external impact, under the influence of a group, when I have 35
people around me.
If all of us out there are given the opportunity to unite, then each
of us will receive the will that is 200, 300 times greater, according to
the number of people now present at our virtual lesson. It will be quite
enough to cross the barrier and enter the Upper World right now. We
lack only one thing: the union of our aspirations for the spiritual.
Since there is only a small will to receive, it dominates the whole
of the category at once, but its power over the particular items is
This refers to the first phase – the still level of the will to receive.
Each subsequent level appears as a superstructure above the preceding
36. The second phase of the will to receive that is called vegetative
is added to the first. Its desire is larger than in the still phase, and
it dominates every item of the category. Similarly, in the vegetative
world we see a germ, a spark of life in every plant.
Each one has its own private movement that spreads up and down
and to the sides, and moves where the sun shines (reaction of each part
to the Upper Light); the manner of nourishment and excreting waste
is also apparent in each item. There is already a recognition of what is
“good” and “evil”; useful things are attracted, harmful are repelled. Already the vegetative type of will to receive exists in us, but is nonetheless
a very small, general desire.
A group appears and, in general, it aspires to something. You may
say, “Well, isn’t it good that the group aspires to something?” Everyone
in the group must be an individual, but at the same time, all of them
Only then will this gathering of individuals become a group. which represents a special life of each part that is distinct from the others. they wake up when the sun rises. The leaves fall because there is no sun. In the same way. even though there are periods common to specific animal groups. and then begin to grow. the third phase of the will to receive that is so great that it generates in each of its parts (that is. the sun shines for all of them. each can move around freely. but simply people united on their small level. while uniting in one whole to the maximum despite their individuality. in every individual who reaches the animate level) a feeling of freedom. despite their outstanding individual qualities. 37. such as mating. different from that of the still nature. it is not a group. “to the Creator” and “to myself”. individuality starts from the second vegetative level. This difference separates a Kabbalistic group and an ordinary mass of people. If they are not prominent individuals. turn in the direction of the sun. to comprehend and distinguish between the notions of “evil” and “good”. work begins on our egoistical de203 . A group is made up of people who are developing themselves individually to the maximum. and so on. In addition. as we reach the animate level of development where free inner movements awaken within us. “to friends” – “away from them”. Animals are at the intermediate level.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R must be united. growth. Each individual animal leads a separate life. but an amorphous mass. That is. there is a common life for all. merged in a single whole. Plants and trees in the field shed their leaves at the same time. but it is common for each species. Conversely. and rearing. and so on. when each of us begins to feel inner movements. but they have freedom of movement. Thus. we also have the animate level. development.
they help one another.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R sires that are unique for everyone.” This is the fourth degree of the will to receive. I shall tell you that it is as the worth of a single creature against the whole of reality. He does not write. because it includes feelings for others. 204 . he includes in himself all the worlds. If he reaches the fourth level of the will to receive. fully developed will to receive. and the fourth (human) one is. Why do we need it? Why is it something that distinguishes man (by man we mean his spiritual category) from an animal? 38. A feeling for others is an altruistic feeling! Animals possess an egoistical sensation of others. something that animals lack. these desires yet lack the sensation of their neighbor (this is most important). they are yet unprepared to feel compassion for others’ suffering or joy over their good fortune. What does the feeling of someone’s joy and suffering give me? Why should I feel another's Kli. Yet what is still negative and insufficient on this animate level? Why is it not final? Baal HaSulam says: However. “to feel joy over others’ suffering or joy over their good fortune”. If you wish to know with absolute accuracy what the distinction between the third (animate) phase of the will to receive. This is what he gets from the sensation of others. Only the quality of feeling his neighbor enables man to grow his will to receive to such a degree where he attains and absorbs the whole universe. the fourth phase of the will to receive. another's desire? The person who finds himself at the third level of development is an ordinary person. have families. prides. This is the complete. altruistic way: “to feel compassion for others’ suffering or joy over their good fortune. but puts it in the right. that is. In addition to all is the human level.
The rudiments of this opportu205 . When someone else receives. that he can now correct. absorbs in him all the negative and positive desires of those around him and identifies himself with them. who can feel others. the Klipot. his needs multiply until he wants to swallow all that there is in the whole world. common soul. delight.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R packs and herds. I feel as if I receive. can we evolve and reach the level called “man”. egoistical level. “to feel compassion for others’ suffering”. They have developed mutual aid on a very high. i. This is because the will to receive at the animate level... he wants to double it. Baal HaSulam writes in paragraph 37. all worlds. and is thus filled with envy wishing to acquire everything. then he turns into an immense vessel that includes all souls. and serve him.e. meaning sensation of others. Whereas man. He desires all that exists in the world. i. starting from phase zero. is unable to beget desires and needs other than what is imprinted in this creature alone. groups of all sorts. Only owing to our inner quality of envy. including the world of Infinity. If man can reach such a level of his will to receive. above all the other worlds. When he has a certain share. He then acquires additional egoistical desires. he rises above nature. If he rises to the human level. (He sees that someone else has something and craves it). including the desire called “Pharaoh”.e. Compassion means to feel someone’s suffering as one’s own or to be happy for his good fortune. animate. where he is still at the animate level of development. absorbs them. becomes needy of everything that others have too. acquires their desires and properties as his own. Therefore. instinctive. which lacks the sensation of others. He wants the Creator to fill. This whole circle enters inside his large.
but mostly we are restless because of the tormenting question about the point of our life. infinity. Only during the studies can we tune our206 . it is also important for the entire humankind. away from the Creator? We shall discuss this at length later… We continue studying “The Introduction to the Book of Zohar. Because Kabbalah not only theoretically explains the existing reality.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R nity exist outside us. in the form of a spiritual embryo. The remaining lower levels are called the worlds. Therefore. then as a child. Kabbalah explains how man can go through all these intermediate states and rise from the level of this world to the Upper World. man’s purpose. up to the moment when he enters the spiritual world. this wisdom is vitally important for man. The only means for entering the Upper World is the spiritual light that corrects us. he naturally perceives his state in this world quite differently. thanks to our efforts. We are just beginning to understand it and hope that others will soon realize it too. the entire universe in which we exist (it is called the Creator on the highest level with regard to us). Each of us aspires to achieve such a state because the people who feel good do not come to Kabbalah. and perfection. and then reach the highest level of merging with the Creator. what he is going to achieve from his efforts in this world. which awakens in man. The point of life can be attained as a result of the revelation of the Upper World. man becomes similar to the Creator and enters the sensation of eternity. the Creator. We should expose ourselves to this light. How can we prevent them from leading us to the Klipot. First. but also ushers the person into the Upper World. feels life as an endless process. so that it will pull us out of this reality into the sensation of the Upper World.” In this Introduction Baal HaSulam tells us about the development of the human soul – from a small Reshimo. Since it reveals the most important concerns in our life. He rises above life and death. and later on – as an adult. All of us need something.
and demands should be directed to the Creator alone. and wish to be influenced. even in this case you may not receive my answer. Then the light of correction will shine upon all of us and elevate us to the Creator. As a teacher. I only direct you to the Creator. when nothing is clear to you and it makes you suffer. because the answer to such questions should come from Above. and share our impressions. corrected by this light. We need to create a common webpage. you may turn to me. As a teacher and a guide. We should get to know each other well and encourage it in every way possible. 207 .I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R selves up to this Supreme force (the so-called Ohr Makif – the Surrounding light). Your opinions. You should join this virtual group so that our spiritual aspirations will merge. The way we receive desires for something in this world. requests. Therefore. Being surrounded by the Upper Light is the most favorable state. You may receive the answer and find the necessary solution within yourself. Do not lock yourselves to me. After such attempts. This will be the Creator’s reply to you. which can be increased at the expense of desires of other people. when we need the influence of the Upper Light more than anything else. in your letters and in phone conversations should first be turned to Him. We just need to prepare ourselves. from our environment. all of us should tune each other to the reception of the Upper Light and to spiritual ascent. and English all over the world. post our photographs. desires. the virtual group. be more sensitive to it. Hebrew. The influence of the light depends on our desire. Even the questions you ask me on the forum. When this becomes the most important thing in our life. it will reveal itself to us and elevate us to the next level. However. I will not answer them. during our studies we should imagine huge virtual groups with hundreds of people who gather and listen to us in Russian.
envy. It is most clear to the Kabbalists. An animal may be either hungry or not. 208 . Now we will find out how to advance towards the Creator.. All they do is dictated by their inner instincts. We should try to demand the Ohr Makif from it. so that they may know His genuineness and greatness. or the Sun. the meaning. the teacher. and the books are only the means that help us to advance. because they are only auxiliary instruments on our path to Him. we (i.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Our advancement is directly connected with the higher spiritual level. Baal HaSulam says: 39. The Creator’s intentions refer neither to the vegetative nor to the animate level of nature (although they live some form of a biological life). and real pleasures. They attain the purpose. however luminous they may be. the Moon. The group. even of the animate kind. Animals do not feel pleasure. We have shown that the Creator’s purpose is to bestow upon His creatures. address all our questions to it and only from it receive the answers. for they lack the sensation of others (they cannot even develop it on their own level. let alone on the higher one). This is the attitude we should adopt. but it cannot get hungry by simply looking at another hungry animal. We do not yet understand His purpose. They lack the sensation of others. on whose behalf Baal HaSulam speaks. they naturally cannot enjoy the pleasures of others either. but it will gradually transpire. and receive all the delight and goodness He had prepared for them. the Kabbalists) clearly find that this purpose does not apply to the still and the large planets such as the Earth.e. of jealousy. Do not replace the Creator with Rav or the group. Since they are unable to absorb the desires of others. After that. and the final result of the entire creation.
209 . I look at them and see how they enjoy it. Ta’avah ve Kavod” (envy. more significant. We are born with only animal desires. This is possible because the root of such a property is present in us – the sensation of another human being.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Even on a primitive animate level. which is initially absent in us. home and family. can constantly grow. Finally. so I want to be like them. With the help of “Kinah. then I want to receive that pleasure too. However. a professor. This way. plants and animals. I can acquire from others the tastes that are totally unknown to me. because I feel people’s submission and respect. or an actor. However. Even if I have all that my heart desires. my Kli. but there is someone who enjoys something else. These are our bodily desires for such natural pleasures as food. as a result of envy man develops a desire to receive something that another person has. craving for pleasures. a plant could turn into an animal. the desires for power and honor bring me pleasure. my desire. or an animal into man. sex. I enjoy people’s attitude toward me. It does not matter to me that I do not have it in my pocket. This property is absent in the inanimate bodies. desires do not pass from one animal to another. with the help of certain actions. purely animal instincts that existed in primitive people. craving for pleasures and the desire for honor and fame). These are man’s ultimate aspirations in this world. even if he does not really need it. Envy. only humans can rise to the Divine level. This makes me bigger. and the desire for fame and recognition develop man to such an extent that he can attach additional egoism from others to his own and begin to advance spiritually. It resembles a hypothetical situation where. Besides. and I can infinitely develop it in our world by absorbing all the desires existing in the universe and even on the spiritual level. Suppose I have no idea what it means to be a scientist. even more the desire to attain a higher spiritual level.
When I discover His properties and gradually reveal His perfection. He never thought of honor and recognition.” One should not be afraid of that. I come to desire to control this Upper level. It is said in the Babylonian Talmud that. However. The attainment is not limited by the desires of this world. who is higher than another has greater egoistical desires. everything begins with huge egoistical desires. He has a “point in his heart” – the egoistical spiritual desire. he realizes what the passion for money is. a few months after the person begins to study Kabbalah. he wants people to pay attention to him. We need to correct additional egoism for advancing spiritually. I want Him to do what I wish. the process continues in the Upper Worlds. my egoism. since the destruction of the Temple (when we spiritually fell to the level of this world). it is called “Achoraim de Nefesh de Kedusha. which gave him no trouble before. so that I may absorb them and become similar to Him. Always. for why would he need that and from whom? From other twolegged creatures? Yet suddenly he begins to crave it. Therefore. the real taste for sex and the genuine egoistical desires (“sex” being the core of our animal pleasures) can only be enjoyed by those who aspire to the Upper World (“Ta’am Biah Nishar Rak le Ovdei HaShem”). It becomes his inner obstacle. it transforms me in such a way that I already wish him to enslave me. he never dreamed about millions of dollars before. 210 . Everything that happens to the person in the process of his spiritual growth is based on the development of egoism. In Hebrew. it is said: “He. I want Him to pass His properties to me.” This is the egoistical desire of the upper level. Hence. my Upper level begins with my desire to enslave the Creator. The person who was quite moderate in his animal instincts (food and sex) suddenly loses his mind. he suddenly notices that his egoism has grown. For example.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Man does not receive his desires only from the level of this world. and all of a sudden. the Creator.
honor. when our egoism is so developed that we want much more than others. is in bestowing pleasure upon created beings. Thus. since they have no sensation of others. i. the purpose of creation. We build ourselves between the two lines. because they also lack such a sensation. we begin to correct it with the help of the Upper Light by raising a request (commandment) and receiving the Torah (the light of correction) from Above. The NaRaNHaY in the world of Infinity is referred to as the light of the Torah. and Yechida. fame. while receiving the NaRaNHaY on all the 120 levels of our ascent to the world of Infinity. we create ourselves in the middle line. We envy their pleasures. we begin to envy them and desire whatever they have. after having been prepared with the sensation of others who are like him. and wish to conquer the whole world. He is still uncorrected.e. While 211 . although initially we never had such desires. and come to equivalence of form with his Maker. the descending light. we now clearly see that this purpose refers neither to the inanimate bodies nor to huge planets. This is called the real man. will turn his will to receive (egoistic. its parts on the preliminary stages between our level and the world of Infinity are called Nefesh. after delving into Torah and the commandments. Then he reaches the levels that had been prepared for him in the Upper Worlds. Neshama. yet he is ready for it because he already has what to correct. As we receive additional portions of egoism (from the left line).. Neither does it concern the plants and animals in our world. How will they be able to feel the Creator’s goodness if they cannot even feel their own kind? When we develop and reach the spiritual level called “man”. This is the way we ascend the Upper Worlds. enormous desire acquired from outside) into the will to bestow. Our egoism of the left line becomes similar to the Creator’s properties of the right line. The correction occurs with the help of the right line. Man alone.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Having realized that the Creator’s desire. Ruach. Haya.
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R ascending the five worlds we receive the light of Nefesh in the world of Assiya. then a little deeper. Therefore the attainment of the PaRDeS occurs in the reverse order (from down upwards). He calls such 212 . we simply are included into the common light already called. we pass through the following levels: first “secret”. of the Torah in the world of Infinity is simple. the light of Ruach in the world of Yetzira. which we neither feel nor understand. the light of Neshama in the world of Beria. i.e. then the Remez is like a hint in the world of Beria and Yetzira and the Sod in the world of Assiya and in our world. concealed light. then deeper still and finally very profound knowledge”. we just mechanically study what is written in the book. There are no distinctions or subtle nuances in it. As we ascend from the world of AK to the world of Infinity. but in fact. the attainment of the PaRDeS. In reality. then “allegory”. It is called PaRDeS – Pshat. The Pshat is the simplest light in the world of Infinity. and Sod. after that “hint” and finally “simplicity”. because even the NaRaNHaY becomes one simple light on that level. but the Torah. Thus. just the perfect light. staying within the bounds of a simple learning of the text on the level of our world. rising from our world to the world of Infinity. we ostensibly attain the PaRDeS. Here Baal HaSulam says that the common people who study the Torah think that everything is studied on our level and that the knowledge of the laws of the universe requires no spiritual ascent. This is what the Gaon from Vilna says in his prayer book: “The PaRDeS constitutes four different levels of attainment: first the simple.. Remez. not the NaRaNHaY. the light of Haya in the world of Atzilut and the light of Yechida in the world of Adam Kadmon. Droosh. the secret. Thus. the Droosh (the light in the worlds of AK and Atzilut) is below it. like the light that is shining there.
and now I see before me a grand. and not through its suppression. and wondrous world!” So too are those who are sunk in the shell of the will to receive. or sometimes “false sages”. “I thought the whole world was the size of my radish.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R people “philosophers” or “Baalei Batim” (house owners). man should not ascend and absorb the entire Creation. In other words. is the center of the magnificent creation. They cannot agree that man. it wonders and says: "I thought the whole world was the size of my radish…" This is what we say to ourselves today. beautiful. 40. as that is what they really are like.e. and cannot 213 . Kabbalists. However. are convinced that just with the help of his egoism. who are not willing to grasp the universe and rise above it. as soon as the shell of the radish breaks and it peeps out. It is certain that they must determine their worthlessness and emptiness. they were born with (that prevents them from feeling something beyond themselves). however. man should take in this whole world and become similar to the Creator in his attitude to the universe. They are like the worm that is born inside a radish and thinks that the Creator’s world is as bitter and dark as the radish it was born in. new sensations and the divine properties (that would enable them to transcend the bounds of their egoism and feel the world beyond themselves) that can break this hard shell and turn it into a will to bestow contentment upon the Maker (i. become equal to Him). I know that it is completely unaccepted in the eyes of some philosophers. and did not taste the new means. Everyone except for Kabbalists thinks this way.. Each of us feels this way before crossing the Machsom. whom they think of as low and worthless. Baal HaSulam says: I know that it is completely unaccepted in the eyes of some philosophers… He speaks about “the know-it-alls” among us.
the first stage of the Direct light. 214 . beyond words. Malchut transforms itself. from the four stages of the Straight light. Indeed. the third. The first. We are born in the third stage. performs Tzimtzum Aleph. but this is the lower part of the root level. The highest level consists of two parts. he did for me alone”. The first stage (the will to receive) is born from the lower part. intelligence and clear mind. where all that was created is inside Him. and then the fourth stage follows. “All” implies the level of the world of Infinity. which have been prepared for them in the spiritual worlds. We learn that the last level of man’s attainment is called the “Thought of creation”. Behina Shoresh. on His level. Then they themselves would say as our sages said: "What does a good guest say? Everything the host did. We should attain this level and see all that the Creator is doing for us. Then the second stage (the will to bestow) emerges. His Thought is in the upper part (the zero stage). They would try to hatch from the shell they were born into and receive the will to bestow. The upper part of the root level is the Creator’s Thought. The Upper Light descends from it and gives birth to Behina Aleph. We should reach this level. degrees of wisdom.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R comprehend that this magnificent reality had not been created but for them. The lower part of this root level. if they had delved into Kabbalah in order to bestow contentment to their Maker (if they had transformed their egoistic desires into bestowal upon the Creator). the second. refers to us. acquires a screen. Here the Creator’s action manifests with regard to us. and then the fourth levels descend from there. we have to achieve the Creator through our own effort. their eyes would immediately open to see and attain all the pleasant and sweet. Although we are born on the lower part (zero stage). Behina Shoresh consists of two parts.
Yetzira. However. (i. we reach the Creator’s level. “I will know You” means I will rise to the level of Your thoughts). This is what similarity gives us. that reality is generally divided into five worlds. Only after reaching the level of the Creator’s thoughts can we really say: Everything the host did. and Assiya. in 215 . there still remains a need to clarify why man would need all those Upper Worlds the Creator built for him? For what use has he of them? Bear in mind. since “similarity” in the spiritual world implies likeness to the Creator’s actions – the desire to bestow. achieves His Thought. he did for me alone. 41. Atzilut. and merges with Him. It is said: “I will know You by Your actions”. Beria.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R and then ascends 125 levels through a long series of corrective actions.e. it rises. Our will to receive for the sake of bestowal is equivalent to the Creator’s bestowal. Indeed. Although it was born because of the Creator’s action. by imitating His actions. which are Adam Kadmon..
as the light of Yechida shines in Adam Kadmon (the most powerful common light of the Torah. 42. 216 . we have no perception. the Vav is Yetzira. alternatively. In the first world. Adam Kadmon. the light of Ruach shines in Yetzira.NaRaNHaY are dressed. which correspond to the five worlds. the five Sefirot . and Beria is Bina and Yetzira is Tifferet and the world Assiya is Malchut. AB. and the light of Nefesh shines in Assiya. which shines in the world of Infinity). called Sefirot. Tiferet. the light of Haya shines in Atzilut. and Malchut. and the tip of the Yud. It is not so important how we name them. The Yud is the world of Atzilut.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R each of them there are an infinite number of details. five Sefirot in each Partzuf amounts to 125 levels. Indeed they are included one in the other and in each of the worlds there are the five worlds. Hochma. And the lights that dress in those five worlds are called YHNRN. we do not speak of it and always mention only the four worlds ABYA. and the world of Atzilut is Hochma. Atik. I would call them five Partzufim: Galgalta. Tifferet. and ZON. He wants to explain that: Because the world of Adam Kadmon is Keter. AA. He does not wish to divide the worlds into Partzufim: five worlds with five Partzufim. and the bottom Hey is Assiya. which are the five Sefirot… Each world consists of five parts. and BON. where the five lights . We have now explained the five worlds that include all the spiritual reality that extends from Infinity to this world. Hochma. SAG. Bina.Keter. Malchut. the light of Neshama shines in Beria. MA. All these worlds and everything in them are included in the holy name Yud Hey Vav Hey. the Hey is Beria. Baal HaSulam calls them Sefirot instead of Partzufim: Keter. AVI. the tip of the Yud of the name indicates it. Bina. Therefore.
That point is the beginning of the whole creation and the little tail beneath it points at what emerges and spreads from the point.which are halls . Hochma. Bina. Why are these four letters used? This is because the point is a source of the light. If this point goes down. and the Animate is regarded as the angels in that world. They are all dressed one into the other . Vegetative. which are the angels are dressed into the souls. Animate. it means the spreading of the light of Hochma. Tifferet and Malchut . This corresponds to Shoresh. if it goes up – the light of Hochma disappears. If the source of the light moves to the right. which are the souls of people.in that place. it is the lack of Hassadim. The world of Assiya includes our world.Still. The Vegetative are called the clothes. it means the light of Hassadim.encompasses them all.where the soul of man is regarded as the Speaking in that world. are dressed in the five Sefirot: Keter. the Vegetative . and the Still are called the halls.the Speaking.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Besides the five Sefirot. The initial point of the Yud is in the world of AK and in the world of Infinity. If it moves to the left. 217 .which are the clothes – dress into the angels and the Still . Speaking . The Animate. in each world there are the four spiritual categories .
the Reshimo (its inner structure) determines to what kind of influence it will be exposed. ZA.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R All kinds of combinations occur inside the construction of the Kli: Keter. Neshama. Haya and Yechida. “Pure receptions” and “pure bestowals” only exist in the world of AK. When the two lights AB-SAG come to us. so it turns out that there is never a “pure reception” or a “pure bestowal”. Ruach. and the SAG is the light of Neshama. The Galgalta is the light of Yechida. the AB is the light of Haya. In addition. It is from there that the light spreads through the world of Infinity down to our world. we act with the screen and see how we can fill ourselves. Therefore. Bina. into Nefesh. which descends from the world of Infinity to the world of AK splits. where they descend to us in their pure form. they correct and purify us with all their power. Perhaps. and Malchut. The light. They influence the Reshimo and the Reshimo (depending on its structure) chooses how much of the light of Hochma and Hassadim should affect it. the influence of the light on the Reshimo would be in the form of 218 . Each of these five desires has its own property and interrelates with the rest. Hochma.
from up downwards. This letter consists of the two Partzufim. perhaps it is in the form of the letter “Hey”. Alternatively. 219 . This characterizes Bina when it is the first (upper) “Hey”. sometimes we call them houses). the Levushim (clothes). the Malachim (angels) and finally the souls (man). animate and human levels are divided into the Heichalot (Baal HaSulam calls them halls. We will discuss the structure of the letters later on. vegetative. the name HaVaYaH implies the influence from Above. where in the “Reish” (the massive spreading of Hassadim on the light of Hochma) there is a small “Vav” inside. They constitute the complete spreading of the light in all of its variations. the inner and the outer. hence. like a mother with a fetus (the tiny inner Partzuf Partzuf) inside her womb. The inanimate.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R the letter “Vav” – a little of the light of Hassadim and much of the light of Hochma.
It consists of the Ten Sefirot of the Straight light. Oh! If he only could have it… But he does not. Since the soul “dresses” on the Creator and the angels. who is inside it. Let us all together want it to happen to us. Since the soul “dresses” on the Creator.. Nefesh. of desire. i. he immediately receives a “holy soul”. When man is born. Now we begin to deal with ourselves. the angels dress on the soul. It is preferable to use the Hebrew names. the outer universe regarding the soul is only necessary for bonding this soul with the Creator. a part descends from Keter. and Baal HaSulam speaks about our path from the lowest level. and the so-called halls. These words are very meaningful and they include many levels of information. How much of it can we grasp? While reading these lines please let us think of each other. we will discover that the soul is in the center. It will. by all means. This is called the raising of prayer. He writes openly about the things that are normally ignored.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R As you may see. it becomes clear that the angels. Let us assume there are 1000 men and women in the world. 220 . of how we can help each other by simply joining our desires. who simultaneously listen to me about the Creator’s revelation to man. Inside the soul.. that will be answered with the Surrounding light. the Levushim dress on the angels and the halls dress on the Levushim. So what do we actually have when we begin to aspire to the Creator? However. the clothes and the halls dress on the soul.e. generate this action in us. 43. If we begin to analyze how these spiritual levels are interrelated. the Ten Sefirot of the “Kav” (“line”). the clothes. there is nothing regarding Keter because this is the Creator. because in Hebrew their structure and inscription include many different elements. it is in turn surrounded by the angels. the clothes and halls.. You will not find the things he so clearly and laconically explains in this Introduction anywhere else.
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R not an actual soul. Actually. you will also find in every world. in his will to receive. There is a point in the heart – the reverse side of the soul. this one is equal to all the others. even its smallest part. my desire is absolutely egoistic. It is in the center of my heart. nothing else was created except for these stages of the Straight light. Therefore. meaning its last category. My point is called “a point in the heart”. after satisfying all my egoistic desires of this world.999 souls. For example. We feel it as opposite to our egoism. This is a marvelous property of the spiritual world. microscopic part of it. The same laws that rule in the universe influence the very last. its beginning. 221 . because it is in the midst of my egoistic desires. It is inserted in man's heart. Heart means all our egoism. but the posterior of it. if one is against all the rest of the 599. All that is concentrated in these five stages only spreads through the worlds from our first state to the third. The Hebrew phrase “Prat u Klal Shavim” (the common and the individual are equal) explains the idea. This is because there cannot be even a slightest detail that would not consist of five stages of the Straight light. even in the smallest particles of it. which is called a "point" because of it smallness. Every minute detail consists of them. “Prat u Klal Shavim” is the general law of the universe. I now want to grab the spiritual delights (I can think of no better word). Know this rule. which is found primarily in man's heart. There is nothing in the spiritual that would be bigger or smaller than something else would. its root. The smallest soul and the sum of all the souls are equal. It is a tiny part that is destined to become the soul and will have to go through inversion in order to become a true point of the soul. for all that you will find in reality in general. Even if I wish for the spiritual. Moreover.
and Malchut. In all. Tifferet. They correspond to the four Sefirot. Hochma. even in the smallest particle of each species in the still. in one person…. Now let us understand what man is.. that which is destined to bring everything to the Creator. So even in one person. animate. animate and human). Keter. Hochma. there are four inner categories: still. The same exists in a single species. we study the level of “man” and the way he ascends to the Creator.e. one. in all of us. Everything is divided into five parts. Bina. Hochma. Bina. there are five kinds of desires. If we (the soul) merge with the Creator. Why should we think about anything else? We are the most active part of the universe. animate and human. Bina. The vegetative level is the desire for riches. two. This depends only on our desire and our work. We call them Aviut zero. so too are there five Sefirot. or rather in the reverse order. All of these egoistic levels of a desire. vegetative. family. sex. i. Tifferet and Malchut. vegetative. and human levels.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Just as there are five worlds in reality. Indeed. Malchut. the clothes. each and every world. and home. which are the five Sefirot. Bina. and the angels will merge with Him together with us (i. and human levels. Tifferet and Malchut in. animate. Keter. animate.e. which are the four parts of his will to receive. We have stated that this world is divided into the still.. The still level is represented by the bodily desires for food. the entire universe ascends to the Creator’s level). vegetative. and human. there are also four levels (still. then the halls. three and four. and Hochma. Tifferet. vegetative. and there are five Sefirot in the smallest particle of that world. The animate 222 . still. exist in our world and are characterized by the general notion of a man’s heart. vegetative. Therefore.
to the source that can fill him. The next to follow is our flesh (the animate level) and finally. even not For Her Name. This point makes him restless. However. even without knowing what it is. family. and a teacher. Above them is also the Divine nature that is called a point in heart.e. as there should be with someone who serves the king). We can see the same inside us. Man. man should constantly check the source from which he receives. there are various minerals. 44. The human level is the desire for knowledge. He tries all kinds of ways until he finds a group.. Even on the level of the biological and physical-chemical structure of the body. sex. Earlier than the “thirteen years of age” (a relative level in man’s development) there cannot be any detection of the point in his heart. (i. the point in his heart begins to grow and reveal its action. I advise all of you who are sitting before your monitors not to trust me. From then on. after “thirteen years”. our inner psychology (the human level). fame and even knowledge. even without any intention for the Creator’s sake. Perhaps you may find a better company. Above it. Man begins to study Kabbalah only because this point prevails in his heart. man becomes interested in something bigger. a book. without any love and fear. its chasing after money. there is only the spiritual desire. but it is not so. Yet all of theses parts are of the animate level. We believe it to happen by chance. non-organic compounds (the still level). because this desire prevails over the others. Then there are nails and hair (the vegetative level). he willy-nilly begins to develop the point in his heart. a wiser teacher who will provide you with a more power223 . However. to check for yourselves where you are. who begins to feel an aspiration for the spiritual world is considered to have come of age. Instead of craving this world with its food.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R level is the desire for honor and fame. when he begins to delve into Kabbalah. The point in the heart leads him to the place.
the group. This is your free will”. so that it will develop me. You should say to yourself. You should have no other image before your eyes except for the Creator. This is the correct development of the point in the heart. “Only in order to achieve Him. The Creator should constantly be in front of me. If man relaxes and wants to get under the wing of some wise person. 224 . Thus. we will only shorten the period of our correction because all the levels are predetermined. The freedom of will is in a constant search for the right group. and teachers. on your books.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R ful influence and lead you to the Purpose of creation. Even if my desire for the Creator is egoistic. you will not be able to grow. the books. I still aspire for Him and nothing else. His answer was very simple: “Keep looking. and consequently the Surrounding light. Only after you have checked everything. Unless you put your effort into the group. although our body desires them very much. We should force ourselves every second to shake them off and realize our free will. read some books. He alone should determine what I do. Try to avoid such aspirations. The rest is a means for achieving the goal. The realization of my freedom of will consists in exerting influence on the teacher. By no means should I join someone in order to feel more secure and comfortable. unless you try to make it stronger. etc. be in some company of people. may you begin to work on its improvement. Do not take anything on trust. You are obliged to do it because your future depends on your environment. some Rabbi. make a sacrifice. We will not reach the next level until we have corrected this one. This is our main task. he confines himself to the still level and stops growing. so I wish to realize everything I need by myself”. I once asked my Teacher: “How can I be sure that I am in the right place? I have only one life. am I ready to listen to some wise man. You should check everything because this is the only way you can grow.
There can be neither more nor less than that. However. Man purifies. both in the general structure of Adam and in each of its individual parts. He builds the 613 organs of the point in 225 . As a result. “This should be similar to the sensation of a man overwhelmed by passion for his beloved. We do not know anything on this level. whether it be the five stages or the 10 Sefirot or the 613 parts. Partzuf Partzuf. these actions are considered to be without intention. Man always acts with a certain intention – with the egoistic intention for his own sake. In his book “Pri Hacham”. We can influence something in the spiritual only in accordance with our altruistic intention. This is the final level of this world after which we pass on to the spiritual one. Actually it consists of 620 parts. In Hebrew. They are still. corrects the still level of his egoistic desire … That is what we do today. it fills his whole world. the point in his heart begins to grow. but we agreed on 613 parts that exist in every spiritual organ. he … loses his mind”. This is what we partially feel and hope that it will continue to develop. Baal HaSulam says in one of his letters on page 70. shell. regarding the spiritual. even if it is egoistic. There is no other pleasure that can fill his empty Kli.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Even if man begins to study Kabbalah without any intention for the Creator’s sake. This is exactly the state we have to achieve with regard to the Creator. It does not matter what we speak about. He can neither see nor hear anything. we pass through all 613 parts of the point in heart. at the beginning of our development. it is called “Metoraf” Metoraf Metoraf” (crazy). To the extent that man aspires for the Creator. he purifies the still part of the desire to receive. I do not want anything else. Only He can fill my vessels. We cannot see the difference between the elements. It is important to have a huge desire to conquer the spiritual world and the Creator. even an egoistic intention is good enough. Therefore. The actions performed by the beginning Kabbalist so far do not require the intentions.
in all – 613. which is the still part of the holy soul. he creates the 613 organs (the corrected parts) of the point in the heart. Like a still body. When all the 613 actions called the commandments are completed. What does it mean? I have the Partzuf that consists of two parts – 248 and 365. until it becomes a whole Partzuf of pure Nefesh. I do not feel the difference between them because these desires are of the still level. I neither know nor understand any of these 613 desires in the heart. this is not important. Let us imagine our big egoistic heart with a tiny point consisting of 613 desires. and its 365 spiritual organs are built through the observing of the 365 precepts of "do not do". 226 . However.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R the heart. I should develop each of them to the maximum and direct them to the Creator. Two hundred forty-eight spiritual organs are built through the observance of the 248 actions of "do" (precepts that you have to perform in). which is the still level of the pure soul. I automatically aspire to the Creator with my might.
This is a natural process. These are all of my desires that I cannot connect with the spiritual in any way. my level is defined as still. Below the level of the spiritual worlds. We should not think: “Now I want something. but you should on no account imagine the biological heart) the Partzuf emerged (my aspiration to the Creator as something 227 . inside my heart (the heart is all our desires. there are actions in which I cannot realize myself. so how am I to deal with this desire.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Two hundred forty-eight actions out of 613 that I perform with my desires are those with whose help I can act. and family – the desires in which I can express and realize myself. However. I still do not have the inner definitions and cannot make this inner analysis. These are not simply desires to kill or to steal. I cannot do that yet. satisfy it or refrain from it?” When I aspire to the Creator on the level of my point in the heart. However. Consequently. with all the people. when I do it… “my level of Nefesh rises and dresses Malchut in the spiritual world of Assiya”. Basically. friends. I have no idea how to work with them correctly. these are my actions in the group. I have not yet received the light from Above that breaks my point into 613 tiny squares where I know what properties each of them represents and that they are connected with the Creator. It is not necessary at this point.
the clothes. it rises and “dresses” from Above onto the Malchut of the World of Assiya. the very first level) uses them. This is what makes the connection between all the people in the world so important. and trade. except for the aspiration to the Creator. are all the positive and negative influences that aspire together with me and “dress” on my soul. they do take part in the process. However. vegetative and animate levels in the world that correspond to the Sefira of Malchut of Assiya serve and aid the soul of man who has risen there. Even the hindrances in the form of a bad boss or problems with the children. The world. and the halls enveloping my soul. All the spiritual parts of the still. To the extent that Nefesh (the soul. then as I ascend to a certain spiritual level. on the Malchut of the world of Assiya. our world has now become a small village.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R distinct from the aspirations of this world). as it exists 228 . and angels are our desires. “dress” on me with their inner parts and receive the light. “Kav” is the line of the light descending from the world of Infinity down to this world. When my Partzuf is complete. This means that. They are added because these are my auxiliary desires that I have realized in order to ascend to this particular level. Through mutual aid. communication. I rise to the level of Malchut of the world of Assiya on the first still level. if I carry out a spiritual action and there are people who help me to do that. In other words. This reception is still unconscious because they have not yet prepared their inner spiritual Kli. If I aspire to the Creator. my soul “dressed” on this line with the angels. These are the desires of our world that strengthen my aspiration to the Creator. clothes. they become spiritual nourishment to it… All of these halls. all those who helped me. everything that surrounds me in this world. All the worlds form a descending line (“Kav”). on the light that is there.
and fills the inner part of the Partzuf Nefesh. one is always born inside another and after completing its own development.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R with regard to the ascending man. A point from one level higher is born with it. Nefesh. the clothes and the angels) they give it strength to grow and multiply until it can extend the light of the Sefira of Malchut of Assiya in all the desired perfection to shine in man's body. that very instant the point of the following Partzuf emerges and begins to push this whole process forward. Here I would like to end this lesson and remind you again that we should unite. the point of the next Partzuf will push them up to the level of Infinity. what remains? The next part forms the so-called “naked” Partzuf – the next point in the heart. as soon as the Partzuf. when his Partzuf of “pure Nefesh” is born. so it is here. with his heart and with the point in it. 229 . Just as immediately at the birth of man's body. rises together with him and enters the clothes of the Malchut of the world of Assiya and then even higher. as the Partzufim emerge. pulls the next one after it similar to the forming of a garland. This second point in the heart is not of Aviut Shoresh (0). because man should reach the world of Infinity while living in this world – in his body. It has changed and has now divided into its own 613 parts. Like cars of a train move one behind another. a point of the light of Nefesh is born and dressed in him. To the extent that Nefesh uses them (the auxiliary desires: the halls. This is an ascending movement. completes its ascent and dresses on the Malchut of the World of Assiya. instead of it. It will save much time and effort in our advancement. In order to ascend and dress on Malchut. As soon as we ascend to that world. This happens because. Therefore. it has to have Aviut Aleph (1). That complete light aids man to add toil in Kabbalah and receive the remaining higher levels. meaning the last degree of the light of Ruach of Assiya.
and I rather represent it for you. until we enter into this common whole world. “The Book of Zohar” should do this to us. but quite the opposite. We. those who are marked here have a bright future. The growth of our group by just 10% shortens our path by many months. Raise all your desires with me and through me get up to the GE. half of which is above the Parsa (so-called GE). something that seemed non-existent to us. the broken souls. even very different people will have much to discuss. The more we unite to include these desires into the AHP. Together we can latch onto the GE. and thus be able to ascend. In any case. Now we can raise all the AHP. In the process of reading “The Book of Zohar”. We will know how to advance together to the Creator. with whose assistance we begin to feel what we could not feel before. but now becomes real. From this picture you can clearly see how important it is for us to join together and cling to the AHP whose GE is above the Parsa. Kelim. Where? To me. This world below is where we exist and where the AHP of the lower Partzuf exists together with you. The conception of a Partzuf occurs in such a way that there is an upper Partzuf Partzuf. reading this book creates internal prerequisites. and the world starts opening up. “The Introduction to The Book of Zohar” helps us to understand what stages we should go through. broken Kelim (Kelim Shevurim) exist below the Parsa. Something that could not be felt in our senses suddenly comes into the field of their sensitivity. to the part above. the more 230 . As we grow sufficiently and the members of the group learn to understand one another. slowly developing like a photograph. so that your desires go through me up to the Creator. above the Machsom. This does not mean that I gave up on us. and another half ((AHP) is below the Parsa. The little crosses on the picture mark all of us. Your upper Partzuf is me. a person gains the sense of the upper world.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R None of us will be able to gain individually what we can gain collectively. the more I feel you.
This is our goal. when a person begins to feel a point in the heart. we see how much we all must participate in the same process of connecting all of our desires into the one and only desire to the Creator. We have said that man goes through a certain period in his spiritual development called “13 years”. Why 13 years? While studying the Partzufim of the world of Atzilut. which it cannot refuse. cumulative desire that will be equal to what we call MAN. It is then followed by the period of conscious spiritual development. our state is called “13 years” or “coming of age”. therefore. Broken Kelim From this we see that there is absolutely no point to be attached to the people whose GE is not in the upper world. an aspiration to the Creator. This is the meaning of merging of all the groups in the world. and starts developing it deliberately. There exists an upper Partzuf Arich Anpin 231 . we discover that there are 13 corrections of the beard (“Yud Gimel Tikunei Dikna”) of the upper Partzuf Partzuf. This is a period when the aspiration to the Creator has not yet awakened in him. Now we are developing our point in the heart. We ought to create a huge. a request to the upper Partzuf. hence.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R effectively we will be able to act.
Although there are 613 organs to it. And so it is with the light of the Partzuf of Nefesh of the world of Assiya. For example. 613 forms of receiving the bounty (they are already in us. but they are undeveloped yet 232 . in our world. Why “along the beard”? Because with regard to AA the beard constitutes the external Partzuf. It is correspondingly aimed at purifying the still level of the will to receive in man's body (it is said about our present condition). Therefore. if external conditions exceed the forces of internal preservation of the material’s properties. Then we come of age and begin to grow consciously. its inner connections. Obviously. Partzuf AA is in the GAR. in the universe. whose particles do not move independently … Inanimate objects in our world do not move independently. and everything else in a galaxy. called Se’arot. as with children. the first 13 years of our development.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R (AA). 45. Such a Partzuf. The aforementioned light of Nefesh is called the light of the still level of the world of Assiya. That is what Baal HaSulam writes about in paragraph 45. They have no desire to move or change. The light descends along its external Partzuf and then weakened so that the lower ones might accept and use it correctly for their growth. very powerful light. the first 13 spiritual steps. is a part of AA. The light that we receive is Ohr Nefesh of the world of Assiya. then they will destroy such a material. and helps us to grow. We receive the upper light through it. Therefore. like the movement of the planet Earth. Their only desire is to remain constantly in the same state and that is where their effort is directed. the structure of a crystal is only aimed at preserving its particular state. causing no harm to themselves. are considered the years of unconscious development. there is a general movement that surrounds all the details equally. whereupon it is transformed in us. It shines in the spiritual world much like the still category in the corporeal world. from whose head the light descends along the hair and the beard.
but just a general light whose action surrounds them all equally. There is no distinction between the first Sefira Keter in the world of AK and the last Sefira Malchut in the world of Assiya… There is no difference in the structure of creation. we do. aspiration for the Creator.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R existing only in potential) yet these changes are not apparent. that although the Sefirot are divine… (related to the Creator. Some day we will discuss this act of conception and birth of the universe. But do we already have them within ourselves? Believe it. and being in the state of similarity to Him. and so the universe was created. on the lowest level of Nefesh de Nefesh. The question is in the screen. then suddenly the torso. Bear in mind. or in our world. the legs. The light develops desires in one direction or another. infinite vessel? All 613 parts of our spiritual body are compressed into the point within us. It is either in the world of Infinity. while its presence develops the Sefirot to become a huge. like an embryo that is forming inside the mother’s womb. without distinction of details (separate desires). the head. the 233 . Physicists assert that the entire cosmos developed from a micro point that consisted of an infinitely compressed substance. And if we have even the slightest desire. then we have already achieved some microscopic similarity to Him). We are made of the same components. 46. then the arms. and so on. In fact. There is a specific time for development of every organ or body part. All of a sudden. there is only a general development with no manifestation of particular stages. How can the absence of the screen compress the Ten Sefirot into a point. the same Ten Sefirot. However. Different parts of the embryo’s body begin to develop at different times. there was a bang.
Then what is the difference?).I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R transition from the spiritual world to the material world happened in exactly this way. Beria. became material. then the world of AK (Adam ( Kadmon). that emerged from the spiritual and became somewhat like the essence of matter. and all their parts resemble each other. Beria. that each will receive according to its degree of purity. Neshama. They are merely covers that conceal the light of Infinity within them and ration a certain amount of light to the receivers. It consists of five Partzufim called the NaRaNHaY (Nefesh. and we ourselves. still possessed the same properties. And the light in the Sefirot is absolutely divine (emanated by the Creator. Our universe. the Creator’s part inside the Kli). planet Earth. and yet retained absolute similarity. Assiya and our world. Yetzira. etc. Here Baal HaSulam wants to say that the universe is arranged in the following way: the world of Infinity. there is still a great difference with regard to the receivers. All the worlds are parallel to each other. Haya. It only changed its form. For the Sefirot are composed of lights and vessels. Ruach. the solar system. 234 . and there is no distinction between the first Sefira Keter in the highest world of AK and the last Sefira Malchut of the world of Assiya. Then follow Atzilut. But the vessels called KaHaBTuM in each of the lower worlds of Beria. Yetzira and Assiya are not divine. Bear in mind that although the Sefirot are divine. (even though the highest Sefira in the world of AK and the lowest Sefira in the world of Assiya are the same. are all created in complete correspondence to the worlds of Assiya. but each of the upper worlds is made of a more spiritual substance. Yetzira. as the last level of the world of Assiya. The point. which is Keter (as regards the others) and all of its parts. and Yechida) that emanate the light.
whereas the vessels in each of the worlds: Beria.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R All of these worlds consist of similar parts. Bina is specially isolated from the world of Atzilut to help us. Assiya are not divine. The difference between these parts of the universe stems from the fact that the Sefirot are divided into the Kli and the light. the property of bestowal. and Assiya constitute three huge filters that weaken the light descending to us from the worlds of AK and Atzilut. and there is no difference between them. The only distinction is in the material from which they are created. Although the light is one. hides all the light of the world of Infinity. The light of the Sefira is divine. Beria is Bina. Yetzira. Malchut. we still name the lights in the Sefirot NaRaNHaY because the light is distinguished according to the attributes of the vessels. We are a part of the world of Assiya. which is the coarsest cover. Why? The Kelim in the worlds of BYA are not divine because they are below the Parsa. The light that it does pass on to 235 . Yetzira. Beria is Bina. The world of Yetzira is a weakening of the property of bestowal and the world of Assiya is reception. But the world of Beria located below helps us to keep the Kelim de Ashpa’a (desires of bestowal) under the Parsa and be corrected with their help. Baal HaSulam says that the worlds of Beria. where all the light of Infinity is waiting for our later reception. They consist of the Kelim that were broken and corrupted. Now they need to be corrected and elevated to the world of Atzilut. The world of Atzilut is Hochma.
The vessel of Bina is finer still than Tifferet. The vessel of Tifferet (Kli of the world of Yetzira) is finer than Malchut and the light it passes from the world of Infinity relates to the purification of the vegetative level of man's body. because there the light is more powerful than that of Nefesh. which corrects the vegetative level of desire. 236 . and the world that corresponds to it is called Beria. it means that the only light that will reach him through the world of Assiya will be Nefesh.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R the receivers is only a small portion related to the purification of the still level in the body of man. which purifies the human level in man and whose action is unlimited. If we imagine a person in this world and the world of Assiya above him. Those who are in the world of Beria receive the light of Neshama that purifies the animate level of man's body. The vessel of Hochma is the finest of all (this is the world of Atzilut). Those who are in the world of Yetzira receive from Assiya the light of Ruach. One receives the light of Nefesh in the world of Assiya and corrects one’s still level. It is called Nefesh. and it is called the light. It is called Ruach. It passes the light of Haya.
you do not need to have special intentions for the sake of the Creator. but we can attract the light while still having egoistic intentions. all your desires combined with the desires of your friends while aspiring to achieve the states described in the book. the world of Infinity. but the Ohr Makif Makif. i. What is the meaning of an “action”? “Action” means working with the book during your studies in the group. If you accumulate all your powers. 47. In the Partzuf Nefesh. which man has attained through observing the Torah and Commandments without intent. but in his thoughts. We define Keter as “the Creator’s actions with regard to creation”. you will cling to the AHP of the superior spiritual Partzuf (the teacher) together with others. The Kli Keter is AK. We obtain the light of NaRaNHaY de Nefesh both in the world of AK and here in our world. The Partzuf Nefesh is the smallest of all. “The Creator’s thought with regard to creation” that precedes action is above Keter. so that he will elevate you and attract the Ohr Makif Makif. We have already started acquiring it. and it will purify us all the same.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Why is it unlimited? The reason is that all the light that the Creator passes through the Kli Keter is here. They will appear because of the Upper Light’s influence. This can be done by observing the Torah and Commandments without intent. enables you to increase your desire for Him. while Yechida is already completely similar to the Creator. by performing all kinds of actions that can correct us. 237 . he becomes similar to the Creator not in actions. where man reaches the combined light called Sof the Torah. for they cannot yet appear in you. NaRaNHaY.. there already dresses a point from the light of Ruach. In this case. Then follows Olam Ein Sof. the light that shines upon us is called not the Ohr Pnimi (it cannot enter us). To this end. Baal HaSulam describes them in his article “Free Will”. In this case. This directs you toward the Creator.e.
Neshama. When we are done with it. This “ladder” originates in the descent of the worlds. the depth of self-knowledge. Ruach. the attainment of the surrounding world and the contact with the Creator. the beginning of the next Partzuf will be in the point of Yechida: Nefesh. and Yechida of the Partzuf Neshama. Haya. What are the nuances of man’s work on these levels? I seem to be surrounded by the same world. so that they begin to form 238 . Haya. and Yechida of the Partzuf Ruach. An individual’s advancement along the levels occurs because of a diverse influence of the environment and the development of alternative senses. i. we will begin working on Nefesh.. I deeply penetrate my inner world and that which surrounds me. later through contact with playmates and finally through interaction with adults. Ruach. This resembles a newborn baby that is still unable to hear. etc. hence. It gradually develops and begins to participate in the world’s doings: first through games and playthings. Man can say that he passes from one level to another when he reaches the highest point of a given Partzuf Partzuf. Once we have finished it.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R This way we acquire our first Partzuf NaRaNHaY de Nefesh. is totally different each time. We will then begin building Nefesh. During this process the upper world brought forth the next one below. Ruach. As soon as we complete it. see. powers. man keeps ascending. and my inner essence remains unchanged. its uppermost point will be the root of the next Partzuf Ruach. we observe the same in our world as well. Neshama. An aspiration for the next level automatically awakens in that Partzuf and prerequisites of the next level’s Kli appear. Thus. Haya. Yet the work we do in order to advance.e. More and more. or understand anything. and means. This is what happens in the spiritual world. the screens. I just interact with myself and with the surrounding world at different depths in order to compare myself with the Creator. Neshama. and Yechida of the Partzuf Haya. therefore the lowest point of the upper Partzuf is connected with the uppermost point of the lower Partzuf Partzuf.
while the opposite is repelled. If man does everything he can. the light that reaches us in our state through all worlds. All that we can do is called commandments. is also called the Torah.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R one single Kli. he purifies the vegetative part of his will to receive and rises to the next level. vegetative. and human. he purifies and corrects his still level. The Torah is the most general. “Ohr”). hence he separates the 248 commandments-desires. This indivisible light is intended for all Makif humankind in its final most exalted state. or drawing the Upper light (the Ohr Makif Makif) known as the Torah (from the word “Ohrah”. It still exists together with those similar to him. the Ohr Makif. Performing the 248 “Positive” Commandments with the right intent brings forth the formation of the 248 spiritual organs in this point. in the same states moving under the influence of the light. At the vegetative level man already begins to differentiate between good and evil. all-inclusive Upper light. And the observance of the 365 “Negative” Commandments brings forth 365 additional spiritual organs. To that extent. Although the point of Ruach originated in the previous Partzuf Partzuf. Everything useful for the growth of the altruistic desire and intention is attracted and absorbed. However. We receive the Ohr Makif that affects us even though we still have no intention for the sake of bestowal. and like a flower. still. he does not possess the ability to move independently. it already refers to the next one. which he aspires to 239 . he builds the point of Ruach into a Partzuf. He still cannot work independently. animal. When one strives to observe the Torah and Commandments with the desired intent. Nonetheless. So far. merge with the Creator. he already understands what he needs for his growth. benefit and harm. All the levels of nature. and lacks the sensation of the past and the future. withers at night and springs back to life at dawn. Here Baal HaSulam explains how and on what levels it takes place.
What does Baal HaSulam wish to say here? All that was corrected in the previous Partzuf now begins to help the following one on the level where it works. he is yet unable to feel or distinguish these desires. When the formation of all 613 organs of the Partzuf is completed. This will happen at a later stage. it rises and dresses the Sefira Tifferet of the world of Assiya. mastering of the subsequent Partzuf helps the realization of the preceding one. The light Ruach is meant for the correction of the vegetative part in the person’s body. which conducts the more important light called Ruach from the World of Infinity.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R work on. On the one hand. as it happened earlier with the light of Nefesh. All of these parts help the Partzuf Ruach of a person to receive the complete light from the Sefira Tifferet. let alone analyze them. In the state of Nefesh. The world Assiya has the still. 248 and 365. on the other hand. Already at this level. in all 613 desires. it is called “spiritual vegetation”. Therefore. each Partzuf constitutes a prerequisite for mastering the next. 240 . his Partzuf is divided into GE and AHP. and animal parts that belong to the level of the Sefira Tifferet. and correct from the 365 desires with which he has no right to work. vegetative.
hence. and begin to analyze the past and correlate it with the present. or Haya. Ruach. it is called Ruach. The descending light of Ruach singles out each of the particular 613 desires within my inner common desire. The light tells me about my soul. with the development of Ruach. Consequently. I begin to use the skills acquired in the past as a means for implementing the concepts of today.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Suppose I acquired certain skills a few years ago. The nature of this luminescence on the vegetative level of the material world is such that changes in movements are noticeable in every individual part. spirituality that my individual growth and the contact with the Creator begin. and understand whether I can adapt it to the Creator or not. so at the level of Nefesh. so as to prepare the complete realization. I see that it is necessary to modify or put aside some desire to establish contact with the Creator. I become familiar with some notions or theories. By rising to the level of the Partzuf Ruach. At every level. Today. It is formed from such multitude of my thoughts and abilities that there is absolutely everything there. and intents. beginning with the first level and up to the very last. I do not stop building my Partzuf Nefesh. Nothing disappears and nothing sinks into oblivion of the past. I realize all the previous Partzufim I built. I receive a much greater amount of light and the Kelim. Ruchaniut – the spiritual light. see the character of each desire. 241 . forces. It is with this Ruach. which form my world of Infinity. All the opportunities are bound with concepts. I already differentiate between them. I continue realizing and using the Partzuf Nefesh. Now I understand better what I acquired previously. On the contrary. The spiritual light of the vegetative level is able to shine in a special way upon each of the 613 organs. I realize myself in accordance with my current position.
all of our thoughts or desires are connected with either the upper or the lower level. Their ends overlap. Yetzira. dresses onto the upper Partzuf Partzuf. I cannot possibly rise higher 242 . AHP. When the Partzuf Ruach is born. whereas its bottom. its AHP always being at the level of the lower world. it receives the point of a higher level that is the point of the Partzuf Neshama. It turns out that no Partzuf has an independent. as in a telescopic antenna. Therefore. Every organ expresses its special power of this act. The same principle works in the worlds AK. while none of them exists by itself. sits inside the lower Partzuf Partzuf.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R The spiritual light of the vegetative level is able to shine in a special way to each of the 613 organs of the Partzuf Ruach. we see that its entire top. Beria. In other words. GE. development is only possible thanks to this connection. In any of them. Atzilut. and Assiya. Each world is at its own level of GE. free part.
where he was not aware of what he was dealing with. MAN. What is his attitude to it? How does it feel to be between something that the Creator created in him and the power that He sends to him now? Man receives the Kelim and the light. he already has a different attitude to his duties and responsibilities. unless I bond with the Upper level and receive desire. The next level of correction. Every one of us is just a link in a chain and can only rise if he connects with the upper Partzuf and pulls all the others up. he corrects the animal level of his will to receive. how the light created the creation. and has to position himself correctly between these two sources of desire and pleasure. What is the meaning of “the general light’s secrets” and “the tastes of the commandments”? Man already reaches a level where he feels the light of Hochma (wisdom). However. Unlike in Assiya. how it corrects it. the power that he receives from above.e. By doing this. The Torah is the most general light that influences us. without being connected with the group. in a very different way. It is impossible to advance alone.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R than my own level. In Beria. is where man studies the secrets of the Torah and the tastes of the commandments. he continues advancing. from the lower level.. in Yetzira he already distinguishes between the desires of bestowal and reception and acts accordingly. i. he begins to treat his desires (created in us by the Creator) and the light. 48. At the level of Beria. from which he attains the secrets. he expands and builds the point of Neshama that dresses into the 248 and 365 organs of his body. In the world of Yetzira. and absorbs it. the world of Beria. when a person attains the secrets of the Torah and the tastes of the commandments. while attaining the secrets of the Torah and the tastes of the commandments. We have studied how man advances in the worlds Assiya and Yetzira. adapts it to itself. The 243 .
This is a very high spiritual level of the secrets of the Torah and the tastes of the commandments.. which develops in 248 and 365 of its organs. These are desires on the level of Neshama. and the world of Beria is an advancement by way of the Torah and commandments. albeit on a different level. 1). when man acquires the property of Bina. In the picture you see the still (Shoresh. By attaining the most profound processes in the universe. i. the animal (Bet. ). man corrects the animal level of his desire (by comprehending the Creator’s actions. If the world of Assiya is a general inanimate movement devoid of the intention for the Creator’s sake. 2) levels of desire. of absolute bestowal.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R secrets of the Torah are the inner processes that take place in our desires under the light’s influence. The world of Beria may be characterized as the light and the Kli. 0).e. 244 . Naturally. the world of Yetzira is a yet undefined general intention. he becomes similar to Him at the deepest levels of his desire) and extends the soul’s point of Neshama. this part too consists of 248 and 365 sub-parts. the vegetative ((Aleph.
although they mate at specific periods of the year). man continues developing the level of Haya. each of them as a separate Partzuf. In contrast to plants and animals that are born and die at a certain time (it is less pronounced in animals than in plants. Thus. This is also called a “pure animal”. A special light of every commandment is shining upon every organ (desire) of the Partzuf Neshama (Baal HaSulam speaks of the 245 . because it is meant for the correction of the animal level of the person’s body. still. they feel independent of the Partzuf to the degree that the 613 organs become the 613 Partzufim and each of them contains its special. etc. in his contact with the world. it gives the individual a sense of life to each of the 613 organs of the Partzuf. a point of the light Haya is placed in the Partzuf Neshama. Further. 49. and still levels of nature in the material world. The soul that reaches the level of Neshama is similarly individual. in the world Assiya of the Sefira Bina helps the person’s Partzuf Neshama to receive the complete light from the Sefira Bina. and animal. In addition. When this completely individual Partzuf Neshama emerges. the superiority of this light over the light of Ruach in the spiritual world is equivalent to the difference between the animal. he can move independently. vegetative. vegetative. Man is isolated from others in our world. When a person merits receiving the great light called Neshama and the 613 organs of this Partzuf are each shining with its complete light aimed at him. Unlike plants that turn towards the sun.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Every part. individual light. the person discovers an opportunity to observe every commandment with the true intent. in the sensation of the past and future. man is entirely free in his movements. The nature of its luminescence is the same as that in the animal level of the material world described above.
vegetative. This is called a “spiritual human”. vegetative. vegetative.. His essence is directed towards the correction of the “human” part in the person’s body. The greatness of this light exceeds that of the light of the still. the corrected desires. All (previously acquired) parts of the world of Assiya. from which we enter the world of Yechida. and not the whole light of the Torah in the world of Infinity.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R previous Partzuf Neshama on the animal level). Here the 248 and 365 commandments are created. this light (we will call it individual Infinity). i. the world of AK. but the Infinity relative to that particular person. Baal HaSulam and the Zohar do not discuss the world Yechida. the still. Moreover. The meaning of this light in the spiritual world corresponds to the meaning of the human level in the four levels (still. it rises and dresses the Sefira Hochma. and animal that belong to the Sefira Hochma help the person to receive the complete light of the Sefira Hochma. The light of Infinity “clothed” in this Partzuf is called the Ohr Yechida. is similar to the Creator in its “actions” and is individually infinite. To this extent. and animal kinds in the material world. This Kli is exceptionally transparent (the matter concerns the Kli Haya as it rises to Atzilut) and. a point of the Ohr Haya is built in him. This can be compared to the difference between humankind and the still. there is only a hint in those books about the world of Atzilut. Infinity. the light of Yechida. that particular Partzuf Partzuf. This light is called Ohr Haya.e. animal. passes a huge light from the World of Infinity to man. The power of these lights corrects the “human” part in his desire to receive and turns it into the desire to give (The light of the level of Neshama rises as well. Yechida is already Keter. and animal levels in the spiritual world. therefore. When the Partzuf is complete. and man corrects the level of Haya). That is because we mostly 246 . vegetative. and human) of the material world.
We spoke only about the world of Assiya and the five levels that a person passes through in it: Nefesh. vegetative. Ohr Haya is in the world of Atzilut. and Beria into the world of Atzilut. Yetzira. and Yechida of the world Assiya. Partzufim. Ruach. we complete our mission. those worlds under the Parsa weaken the light and contain the yet uncorrected vessels within them. and then raise these desires of the worlds of Assiya. Ohr Neshama is in the world of Beria. you need to know that all of these five lights of NaRaNHaY are merely NaRaNHaY of the light of Nefesh. AK in the world of Assiya and the ascent of the same worlds or levels. Neshama. in the world of Beria? 50. Beria. After that comes the world of Beria. As was stated before. 247 . All the levels that are shown here only described the five levels of the world Assiya. They do not have anything from the light of Ruach because Ruach exists only in the world of Yetzira. what is the difference between ascending the levels of Assiya. Haya. So.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R have to undergo correction on the levels of basic desires: still. By correcting and raising them into the world of Atzilut. Yetzira. and animal. Atzilut. and Ohr Yechida is in the world of AK. However.
How can we merge with Him if we have no points of contact? How can we at least come near Him.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R In fact. and so on. let alone enter into Him if He is absolutely opposite to our natural property? Baal HaSulam writes in this article that we cannot establish any contact with the Upper world. human. However. Similarly. and can 248 . everyone in this world is given a prototype of the spiritual world in the form of a group and a teacher. which refer to the light of Nefesh. 51. You should know that the desire to be spiritually elevated and purified is accepted by the Creator only if it is constant and if there is a certainty that man will never return to his folly. train ourselves. Even though we are not immersed in constant desires of bestowal. everything that exists in the general creation is also present in its every part. the work on the still. In the same way. the world of Beria has the five lights of NaRaNHaY that are only a part of the light of Neshama. and general levels of our correction only refers to the still desire. no matter how tiny it might be. vegetative. The Creator Himself testifies that man will never return to his previous state. Therefore. However. as it were. by merely wishing to attain them. animal. the world of Assiya has the five lights of NaRaNHaY. the world of Yetzira has the five lights of NaRaNHaY that refer to the light of Ruach. we.
I am given an additional new desire. They can only grow.” it is said that the Creator testifies to man’s righteousness. This is because the person that ascends spiritually is under constant influence of the light. At that. what is a fall? This means not tumbling down from one’s spiritual level. It comes down from the world of Infinity through all worlds. There can be no state in which man always rises and never falls. but I cannot yet balance it with the property of bestowal. but never diminish. constantly sustains him. and remaining on the same level of desire. meaning a group and a teacher. In the Introduction to “The Study of the Ten Sefirot. We cannot establish contact with the Upper world unless we can correctly get into touch with the upper Partzuf Partzuf. Suppose I am at the “zero” spiritual level. if the Creator 249 . and in no circumstances fall back into egoism.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R gradually develop a correct attitude to the spiritual realm. Man is never his own master because only the light can hold him on a certain level. Moreover. Naturally. If man has a constant desire for the spiritual. I still retain the level of my previous desire. but rather acquiring an additional desire without balancing it with the necessary correction. and will never let him fall. he can ascend higher. as a magnet holds a piece of iron and does not let it fall. The desires of bestowal are always constant in their direction. How can a person know whether he is righteous or not? It is only possible to know if the Creator reveals Himself to him and does not let him slide back.
According to this law. the other levels of the world of Assiya are Ruach. man turns it into his minimal spiritual platform. animal. were a person to correct the inanimate level of his will to receive. and human levels in one’s desire to receive. we always depend on the intensity of light. Between our world and the world of Infinity. I build a Partzuf consisting of 613 commandments. and Yechida. as it has been said. which descends from above and sustains us on this or that level. the Creator constantly guarantees that he will never fall from the achieved level. but will be able to rise to the spiritual world of Assiya because he is purified and absolutely equal to this world’s properties. as man enters the spiritual realm. Since it is impossible to differentiate between the affirmative and negative com- 250 . However. Haya. below the world of Assiya). We are constantly “suspended in the air”. Neshama. he would merit the attainment of the Partzuf Nefesh. However. and of course.e. I continue developing. i.. He rises and “dresses” the Sefira Malchut of the world of Assiya. To the extent of man’s similarity to Him. he merits the Final Correction of the still level. If I passed from this world into the world of Assiya. he is always given a minimal level from which he begins to ascend. he will not return to his past (under the Machsom. the transition from this world to the world of Assiya is only possible if man acquires a minimal constant spiritual property. We find that. By correcting himself completely on a certain level. below which he will never fall and continues ascending. The correction does not have to be final “until the Creator Himself testifies that the person will never return to his folly” (meaning his previous state). he would immediately fall from this level. To obtain their lights one needs to correct the vegetative.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R concealed Himself and cut man from His light. That is.
How does the Creator testify to that? He shines upon us with a certain light and according to this light’s intensity. The levels Neshama. he will be unable to do that. while his knowledge in other spheres is necessary to him only as much as it can help him to be proficient in his own trade. for example. only the intensity of the light determines our spiritual level. because our desire is constant and unchanging. All other levels complementing my Partzuf may be temporary. whereas his presence on other levels may not necessarily be permanent. when I ascend to the level of the world of Yetzira. all other levels just assist me to distinguish it in them and work with it. In other words. I divide them into Nefesh. I need to correct it within me. It is said. Baal HaSulam says that man should constantly be in the world of Assiya in his sensations. If He shines more. The same applies to desires. it is important for me to make the levels Assiya and Yetzira in the world of Yetzira permanent. Ruach. if He shines less. It is possible only on the level of Assiya de Assiya. After that. He keeps us on a certain spiritual level. and Yechida may remain temporary. If I work on my desires of the vegetative level. because the world of Assiya is characterized by just this level. we rise. an expert on metallurgy should know his field very thoroughly. Every time I reach a certain level. In fact.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R mandments in the world of Assiya. As. Only the power 251 . “Until the Creator Himself testifies to the impossibility of man’s return to his previous state”. Haya. and Yechida. Neshama. we fall. Haya. and so on.
let us say. It is clear that man will not return to his previous state. Neshama. it elevates us or pulls us down. then he ascends and “dresses” the Sefira Malchut of the world of Assiya.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R of the light does serve as a counteraction to our desire. the remaining levels of the world of Assiya – Ruach. because his correction on that level has been completed. All the remaining levels – vegetative. So in order to enter the world of Assiya. If the light’s power reaches a certain distance or level from the Creator. 252 . This constant power of the light is the Creator’s guarantee that I will stay on that level. man should completely correct his still level to prevent deterioration. Why? It is because the entire world of Assiya corresponds to the still level. animal. Haya. and then I know exactly that I will not fall below it. He ascends to the world of Assiya and reaches his constant level. If man corrects the still level of his desire to receive and deserves to transform the point in his heart into the Partzuf Nefesh. human. However. and Yechida are not finally corrected yet. level two. and Divine – may still be temporary.
The five Sefirot are just the five parts of Malchut (the still level of the desire to receive). Neshama. then Ruach de Ruach of the entire world of Yetzira should be constant and so forth. So if Yetzira is Ruach. which has corrected its attitude to the still level (Assiya is Malchut. the same applies to Keter. Hochma – from Malchut of the world of Atzilut and Keter – from Malchut of the world of AK. which is Tifferet and the light of Ruach. What is Baal HaSulam trying to tell us? If we take the world of Assiya. while it receives Ruach from Tifferet. while all the others can have various degrees of correction. Haya. Thus. the remaining levels of the world of Assiya – Ruach. the level corresponding to the world in which I am and constituting its characteristic property should be completely corrected in me. and Yechida do not necessarily have to be finally corrected in order to receive the light and correct the vegetative. I need to make my Ruach constant. Bina. Hochma. to rise to the level of Yetzira. ZA and Malchut of the world of Yetzira). The Sefira Hochma of the world of Assiya receives the light from the world of Atzilut. ZA and Malchut) is none other than Malchut. Then it receives Neshama from Malchut of the world of Beria. only Nefesh is its own level. Yetzira is ZA. because the entire level of Yetzira corresponds to Ruach (the vegetative level). It stems from the fact that the entire world of Assiya in each of its five Sefirot (Keter. which is Haya. However. the Sefira Tifferet of the world of Assiya receives the light from the world of Yetzira. animal and human levels of its desire to receive. Baal HaSulam explains it very clearly and it is not difficult to understand it. Hochma. The Sefira Bina of the world of Assiya receives the light from the world of Beria. For example.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Similarly. Bina. 253 . which is Neshama.
which represents Tifferet and the light of Ruach. because Beria is Bina. since all of this constitutes Malchut. since ZA here refers to Malchut. which is Neshama. if the three other 254 . Thus. each part receives the light from the part that corresponds to it in the Upper world. The Sefira Hochma of the world of Assiya receives the light from the world of Atzilut. it receives the light of ZA from the Malchut of the world of Yetzira. Sefira Tifferet of the world of Assiya receives the light from the world of Yetzira. Consequently. That is. The Sefira Bina of the world of Assiya receives the light from the world of Beria. which is Haya. which represents the general ZA. regardless of the fact that man has not yet corrected any other level but his “still” one (the last one).I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Consequently. it receives each light (except for its own) from the corresponding world. Bina that refers to Malchut receives the light from the Malchut of the world of Beria.
however. he still retains his constant level. Bina and Hochma of the world of Assiya. After man finally corrects and purifies “the vegetative” part of his desire to receive. Thus.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R parts of his desire to receive are partially corrected. he permanently ascends to the world of Yetzira and attains the level of Ruach… 255 . 52. he instantly loses these lights. This reception. then he is in the world of Assiya. This allows him to retain the level above the Machsom. Baal HaSulam means that if man completely corrected himself on the still level and only partially on all the others. he can still receive the lights Ruach. Haya and Yechida from Tifferet. it turns out that the person who has crossed the Machsom will never again fall below it. Neshama. Make a note that even if his uncorrected parts fall. is temporary. because as soon as one of the three parts of his desire awakens.
he would not be able to rise. Each consecutive state is more critical (both in minus and in plus) than the previous one. There is always some fixed (previous) level. The same happens to the other levels: the additional desires are acquired and man falls again. but it refers only to the levels where man has not yet completely corrected himself. Therefore. 52. but he does not have to correct them completely. he ascends from the level of Ruach of the world of Assiya to the level of Ruach of the world of Yetzira. Haya. They fill him. Nefesh and Ruach should be totally corrected. That is. After man finally corrects and purifies “the vegetative” part of his desire to receive. it means that he permanently corrected this state and will never fall below it. That is. Each level in each world should be completely corrected.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Now the constant is in the world of Yetzira. whereupon man ascends to the higher level. and Yechida from the higher worlds. the lower the fall. The correction of the level of Ruach is quite sufficient. He should fall from these levels in order to acquire the additional Aviut. while all the other higher levels may remain uncorrected. but he does not have to correct them completely. This means that man receives Neshama. This is the way that constant spiritual ascent takes place. This means that man receives Neshama. while all the other higher levels may remain un256 . the falls are essential. The correction of the level of Ruach is quite sufficient. and Yechida from the higher worlds. he permanently ascends to the world of Yetzira and attains the level of Ruach… Now the constant is in the world of Yetzira. if man reached the level of Ruach of the world of Yetzira. They fill him. Nefesh and Ruach should be totally corrected. By doing so. it only helps him! Unless he fell. Haya. But what if man falls from these levels? When this occurs. the higher the rise. The rise entails the fall. Therefore.
There is always some fixed (previous) level. the levels Haya and Yechida remain uncorrected. But what if man falls from these levels? When this occurs. So the falls are essential. 53. 54. By doing so he ascends from the level of Ruach of the world of Assiya to the level of Ruach of the world of Yetzira. where the level of Neshama is completely corrected. the higher the rise. At that. He achieves the similarity to the world of Beria. the levels Ruach and Nefesh are also fully corrected on the level of the world of Beria. Naturally. ascends. he would not be able to rise. it only helps him! Unless he fell. but it refers only to the levels where man has not yet completely corrected himself. man receives and transforms it into the desire to bestow. it means that he permanently corrected this state and will never fall below it. if man reached the level of Ruach of the world of Yetzira.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R corrected. After correcting “the animal” part of his desire. he ascends to the world of Beria. That is. and receives the light of Neshama (in the world of Beria). Modulo each consecutive state is more critical (both in minus and in plus) than the previous one. so much so that the Creator Himself testifies to the permanence of this condition. The rise entails the fall. This is the way that constant spiritual ascent takes place. he becomes similar to the world of Atzilut. the lower the fall. This is necessary to ascend to the world of Atzilut while correcting the level of Haya and proceed to the world of AK while correcting the level of Yechida. Therefore. whereupon man ascends to the higher level. He should fall from these levels in order to acquire the additional Aviut. When man deserves to correct “the human” part of his desire. The same happens to the other levels: the additional desires are acquired and man falls again. ascends there and receives 257 . Each level in each world should be completely corrected.
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R 258 .
At the End of correction. I as it were pass through five parts called five worlds.e. 55. In 259 . The light. We term it “the Creator”. What does the phrase “all these worlds” mean? This is a calibration of my soul. This is a partial penetration of the same Surrounding Light that shines in us. he attains the light of Infinity and Ohr Yechida “dresses” into Ohr Haya. which enters and fills us to the extent of our correction. In other words. Rising from the lowest level inside my Kli to the highest one. is referred to as Ohr Pnimi (the Inner light). Yechida). all the light will enter into us leaving nothing outside.. We shall see later that all the worlds are within us. How? We feel the general light called Ohr haSovev (the Surrounding light). the levels of his soul. The infinite simple light will be both inside and outside of us. which we can neither analyze nor feel inside. because to the extent of correction of his desire to receive (his self-correction) he attains the lights.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R the light of Haya. Only the absolutely amorphous Upper light surrounds me. Thus we have found the answers to the previously asked questions: what is the purpose of all these Upper worlds (what is this special invention for)? We can see now that man is unable to bestow upon the Creator without the help of these worlds. The sensations of concealment and revelation of my partial connection with the Creator – all this is felt within me and is determined by the inner part of me that I have corrected. we cease to be a closed shell with a minimal dose of the light inside it and achieve the state where the light transcends us. When he deserves even more (i. There is nothing to be added to that. The gradual correction of each of its parts generates in me a sensation of ascending to the Creator from the state when none of my Kelim were corrected (the lowest level) to the state when I completely correct all of my soul’s vessels. which is referred to as the NaRaNHaY.
because no Kli can distinguish any other light in this particular one. It is impossible to attain even the light of “the inanimate” level of the world of Assiya without including four parts of man’s Aviut. This is what we call the complete merging with the light. One should know that all the aforementioned levels of the NaRaNHaY are the five parts of which the entire creation consists. only to what corresponds to its properties. we become absolutely similar to the light and stop being an obstacle in its way. Bina. it will still consist of the 10 Sefirot: Keter. one can attain five parts of the NaRaNHaY even in the part of “the inanimate” level of the world of Assiya. each time passing through the corresponding Kelim. he wishes to show us the structure of the entire universe: the world of Infinity. the world of AK where the light is separated into Nefesh. however small a Kli we might take (our small desire). Haya and Yechida that originate in the five worlds. Haya and Yechida and descends to the other worlds. Hochma of the world of Yetzira and Hochma of the world of Assiya. if we ascend to the minimal level. Neshama. Neshama. Neshama.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R our properties. This way. by neutralizing and correcting it with the help of our intention (to use it for the Creator’s sake) we purify it so that it stops hampering the light. It cannot be any other way. ZA and Malchut. because they sort with the five parts of the NaRaNHaY of the entire creation. For example. Hochma of the world of Beria. The same occurs in each of the worlds – there are Nefesh. Thus the light descends from the Upper world to the lower worlds. Baal HaSulam wants to say that. Hochma. and also of five parts: Nefesh. Ruach. All that exists in the general creation is also present in its smallest part. Ruach. 56. Despite the fact that the desire remains opposite to the Creator. Ruach. Therefore 260 . Haya and Yechida. For example. the light of Haya from Hochma of the world of AK will be bound to only enter into Hochma of the world of Atzilut.
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R 261 .
. On the other hand. of the entire universe. because I already consist of the 10 Sefirot filled with the lights (albeit very small) from each world. and the world of Assiya is a source of Nefesh. and so forth. If I reach the minimal level of the world of Assiya and cross the Machsom. Hence everyone should be engaged in the Torah and the commandments (i. What does it mean? If man entered the world of Assiya with his minimal Kli. my minimal level allows me to receive the lights from the other worlds. to start receiving the 262 .e. It is impossible to even attain the light of “the inanimate” level of the world of Assiya without including the four parts into man’s work. That is on the one hand. my work should also include all the worlds. he receives in them the light from all the five worlds. because in fact. use all the possible means of correction and purification) in order to acquire the level of Ruach. the world of Atzilut is a source of Haya. the world of Beria is a source of Neshama. which consists of five parts. But how can I include all the worlds on such a low level? The next paragraph speaks about it..e. the world of Yetzira is a source of Ruach. the Kli Malchut picks only the light of Nefesh. the world of AK is a source of the light of Yechida. then already on this level I have the sensations of all the worlds. It passes through them.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R the Kli Hochma picks only the light of Hochma (Ohr Haya). Man should also study the secrets of the Torah to acquire the level of Neshama and the tastes of the commandments (i.
If somebody believes that by reading such “literature” as the Talmud and the Halachot. As the Introduction to “The Book of Zohar” says. However. 57. the people (the Jewish people) do not fulfill its 263 . no wonder that the whole generation errs through their fault. they can be corrected only through the study of Kabbalah. or by studying other parts of the Torah he can correct himself and enter the Upper world. From the aforesaid we can understand the darkness and ignorance much more prevalent in our generation than before. the secrets of the Torah one cannot ascend even to the first spiritual level.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Inner light. Because all who study the Torah neglect the secrets of the Torah (i. Imagine that there are people who study Kabbalah and attract the light of Infinity. But if. he is absolutely wrong. then naturally. Otherwise man will not correct the level higher than the light of Nefesh. instead of Kabbalah.. Consequently. people prefer to study other parts of the Torah (which do not correct the soul). since the light of Neshama cannot fill the Kli without this work). The same refers to us. do not study Kabbalah). if they have no sighted guide among them. and then all will be sure they will never err on their path. Baal HaSulam says that even if reaching the minimal level of the spiritual world requires the knowledge and attainment of the Upper light. they will surely get lost”. lead the generation after them and the people follow them. without the study of Kabbalah. Therefore the Rambam gives the following example: “If a thousand blind people drag themselves along the road and there is one person who is able to see at the head of that column. then all the blind can be sure they will not go astray. This is because entering the spiritual world requires the correction (even though to a minimal extent) of all the five parts of his desire.e.
e. the wise men of all generations. The language uses the words of our world. The reader thinks that all the books of the Torah speak of this world..I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R mission. Therefore people are afraid lest they will fail by materializing (making idols) and will lose more than they will gain (from studying the books in this way). And I have removed completely that concern (the fear of imagining our world instead of the spiritual one). which is 264 . And the books of Kabbalah and the Zohar are full of corporeal parables. all our sufferings are caused by our inability to attract the Upper light of correction with the help of Kabbalah”. the language of the Kabbalistic books is so confusing that man imagines that Kabbalah speaks about our world and not about the Upper worlds. Unless we do that we will end up by falling into abyss. And that is what prompted me to compose a thorough interpretation of the writings of the ARI and now to the holy Zohar (the HaSulam Commentary). 58. The great Kabbalist begins his Introduction with the following words: “I have found a great need to break down the iron wall which separates us from the wisdom of Kabbalah. So deep is my grief that I am unable to continue speaking about it. Then he proceeds to explain the reason that led to neglect of Kabbalah. That is people would think that the world is ruled not by the Creator. That is. Kabbalah has been neglected since the destruction of the Second Temple. for about 2000 years. i. All our problems. Baal HaSulam explains that without the study of Kabbalah one cannot achieve even the minimal NaRaNHaY. In items 155 and 156 of the Introduction to The Study of the Ten Sefirot. especially faith in the holy men. but some Supreme forces are in the objects of our world. Indeed I have known the reason: that it is mainly because faith has generally diminished. for I have proven the spiritual message behind everything.
All those who understand what is written in the Book of the Zohar. Only those who are far from this wisdom doubt this origin and tend to say. Because there has not yet been created the way to clarify these most profound of words. that using it they can rise and scrutinize in depth “The Book of Zohar” itself (i. unanimously agree that it was composed by the Godly sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. The task of “The Book of Zohar” is to elevate us to that level. He just wants to point out that “The Book of Zohar” is more ancient and valuable than some 265 . 59. In the chapter “Bereshit” we learned that the Zohar corresponds to the Partzuf Arich Anpin. then all you need is a ladder to reach it. relying on opponents' fabricated tales that its composer is Rabbi Moshe De Leon (who lived in a different time). this is not so important for us. in order to allow all to study Kabbalah and the Zohar and be warmed by its sacred light. In principle. With regard to us AA is the world of Infinity and it is called the Zohar (or Zihara Ila’a).I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R abstract and devoid of all physical resemblance. But nonetheless I have constructed a path and an entrance for all..e. It is Keter of the world of Atzilut. And so it is with my commentary to the Zohar. the purpose will not be fulfilled. all that the Zohar reveals). as with every ladder . for only then will my purpose of this commentary be completed. But the ladder is not a purpose in and of itself. for if you pause midway and not enter the attic.that if you have an attic full of goods. The Commentary on “The Book of Zohar” is composed to elevate man to the peak called the Zohar. above space and time as the readers shall see. and then all the bounty of the world is in your hands. which includes the entire surrounding Upper world as well as the world of Infinity. to show that the purpose of it is. And I have named that commentary HaSulam (The Ladder).
From the scraps of the book a small number of extracts and separate sheets were compiled into what we now call “The Book of Zohar”. who happened to be a Jew. he wishes to make things clear regarding the authorship of the book. Rabbi Moshe de Leon lived in the 11th century. His wife did not know about all that. “The Book of Creation” was far too difficult to be studied.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R tend to believe. Rabbi Moshe de Leon inherited it from his teacher. So “The Zohar” was really like radiant light. since it contains just a number of vague hints. The Kabbalist rewrote the book. The merchant. had evidently known a little of Kabbalah. splendor at that time. hence. The book was a success. It was used for wrapping spices in the Jaffo market. “The Book of Zohar” was lost and later rediscovered by chance (naturally it was no chance). 266 . so when the Rabbi had passed away. Obviously it was bought by a good business man. because he discovered some very special writings on the parchment folio that contained the purchased spices. who left it to his. because at that time there were no similar compositions. The entire collection was afterwards passed on to one of his pupils. He knew that it was too premature to publish the book. As I wrote in my foreword. had it beautifully bound and kept it. He rushed to the market place and started rummaging through the garbage and finally found all these sheets. because the people were not ready for it yet.D. However. for he had it rewritten and put on sale. The book was initially found by a merchant in the 7th century A. who in turn had received it from his teacher. He was an outstanding Kabbalist and wrote a number of books on Kabbalah. and so finally the texts reached the Rabbi Moshe de Leon in the 11th century. she sold the book in the hope of coping with her financial straits. except for “The Book of Creation” (“Sefer Yetzira”) authored by Abraham.
the descent ended with him. it reaches the world of Infinity). Only those who are far from this wisdom doubt this origin and tend to say that its composer is Rabbi Moshe De Leon.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R A great number of rewritten copies spread around instantly. This book could not have been written by a man who lived 5 to 7 centuries after the great Rabbi Shimon. the generations have gradually descended from the highest level down to ours. But only the person who penetrates the inner meaning of this book and understands from what high spiritual level it descended (from Arich Anpin of the world of Atzilut. as we know. Baal HaSulam writes about it. the real Kabbalists knew it had actually been written by the Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai with the help of the Rabbi Aba in the 2nd or the 3rd century A. In general. because he wants to elevate the book to the level much higher than that of the Rabbi Moshe de Leon.D. Though it was known to be a part of the famous Rabbi de Leon’s legacy. because. i. Judging from all the other compositions penned by the Rabbi de Leon. it becomes clear he was an outstanding Kabbalist. We begin this ascent by ourselves. can also realize that it could be written by none other than Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai. Therefore he says: All those who understand what is written in the Book of the Zohar. but not of the spiritual level of “The Zohar”. We know that Kabbalah divides all history into the following periods: first man develops as an animal.. 60. unanimously agree that it was composed by the Godly sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. then the soul descends into him 267 . there are no Kabbalists of that level among us.e. My Rabbi was the last one. Baal HaSulam tells us that during its long history “The Book of Zohar” was ascribed to many different Kabbalists. when we start from zero.
. Needless to say. The next manifestation of the spiritual desire took place in Abraham in around 1947 B. because there had been no need for such a spiritual source to raise people from the level of a completely shattered screen. Both the first and the second Temples were ruined. One of Rabbi Akiva’s students wrote the 268 . being Rabbi Shimon’s teacher. His life was full of unexpected turns. but finally he achieved the highest possible spiritual level. He was neither a Jew nor a believer until the age of 40. all spiritual levels fell with regard to the point in heart. Then he began to study Kabbalah. The point in the heart continued its development in parallel with egoism. i. but the book could not have been written prior to that event. 5764 years ago). This man’s story is amazing. “The Book of Zohar” was written after the destruction of the second Temple.e. and later became a great scholar and teacher.. whose growth led to the destruction of the Temple. The spiritual point descended into man’s heart 5764 years ago and activated for the first time. Let us have a look at a graph and see how the body was developing. and then the development of a point in his heart (soul) begins. i.e.C. he was on a much higher level than his disciple.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R (in the year 0 according to the Jewish calendar. Its author Rabbi Shimon lived before and after the destruction of the Temple. Rabbi Shimon was one of the disciples of the famous sage Rabbi Akiva who left us the entire spiritual legacy available today.
if I had found that the author of the book is someone else. including Rabbi Shimon. Rabbi Akiva was the embodiment of a vast amount of wisdom about the universe that filled many sacred books. Shimon was only a Tana. Honestly speaking. There was still nothing to correct. Only in the 16th Century did the Ari’s special soul descend to our world and elevate Kabbalah to a new level. i. This happened in around the 2nd Century A. If 269 . When the Temple ceased to be. exalted power was not necessary. his last disciple Rabbi Shimon wrote “The Book of Zohar”. my heart would rather agree with this than with the fact that Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai wrote this book (for R. In the 20th Century the soul of Baal HaSulam appeared. for example. had I learned that its author was one of the 48 prophets (the Kabbalists who attained a high spiritual level called prophecy).D. However. another – “The Book of Zohar”. the greatness of this Kabbalist would rise in me more than for all the rest. I have not had any need to research the facts about its authorship.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Babylonian Talmud. according to the depth of wisdom in this book.. This is what the great Kabbalists writes: From the very day that I merited the light of the Creator and saw what was written in the Book of Zohar. the book could not have been written by any other man born after the destruction of the Temple. a Kabbalist who lived after the destruction of the Temple). Rabbi Moses de Leon. In other words. This is due to the simple reason that the content of the book raised the prominence of Rabbi Shimon to the unattainable height above all other Kabbalists in my heart. However. Rabbi Akiva could not write a composition like “The Book of Zohar” because before the destruction of the Temple such a great.e. and there have been no such Kabbalists ever since. Naturally..
Tohu Tohu I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R 270 .
why is there so much anguish in the world? This refers to the same question: why is “The Book of Zohar” revealed to us only now? So I would like to repeat: Why was “The Zohar” not revealed to earlier generations (that lived before the destruction of the Temple)? Perhaps. as we see. This is how great this book is. only to discover later that there is an opportunity to make such a correction? Why are babies and innocent adults living in such pain. This is because. a question arises: why could the first generations not receive it? If the Creator created us so opposite to Himself. “The Book of Zohar” was given for the correction of our egoism. because holiness diminishes with time). as anyone who understands “The Book of Zohar. Since I merited creating a commentary suited for anyone with a desire to understand what is written in the book itself. whose merit was undoubtedly greater than of the later ones. born later than R.e. and who were more worthy of studying the book? Since. I would rest assured.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R I had learned that Moses had received this book from the Creator Himself on Mount Sinai. We have no idea how much time people are 271 . I cannot be satisfied with the notion that the author of the Book of Zohar can be someone less holy than Rabbi Shimon (i. it could have encouraged them to disseminate the wisdom of Kabbalah the world over. 61.. We should ask at this point why “The Zohar” was not revealed to earlier generations. I believe I have fulfilled everything to keep from such work and research (regarding the authorship of “The Zohar”). why could He not at the same time hand us an instruction for correcting that state? Why do we have to suffer during thousands of years. and humankind could have avoided such a lengthy period of suffering. Shimon.
the second two thousand years are called the Torah. modern technology. or HaBaD (Hochma. 272 . etc. and the last two thousand years are called the days of Mashiach (Messiah)”. as our sages said: "The first two thousand years are called Tohu (lit. and Sof. The world during the six thousand years of its existence is like one Partzuf (spiritual entity) that is divided into three parts: Rosh. and who were more worthy of studying the book. Toch. Da'at). They were much closer to this material than we are with all our mercantile problems. Until there is no interaction between the heart and the point in it.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R destined to suffer before they accept this method of correction that will elevate them to the level of perfection and eternity. On the one hand. because it simply constitutes a development of the body. Hod. Tifferet) and NHY (Netzah. Bina. Alternatively. We can also ask why the commentary to “The Zohar” was not revealed together with the book to the Ari or to the earlier Kabbalists. HaGaT (Hesed. Gevura. Yesod). their egoism was small. We do not take into consideration the world that existed before a new spiritual point (of Bina) appeared in man’s heart (Malchut). so they undoubtedly could study this book much more effectively. animal existence. Why is there such a long prelude stretched along the axis of time – the Torah. on the other – they had enormous inner resources unsuppressed by egoism. nothing else really matters. stupefying advertising. Unformed). Their merit was undoubtedly greater than of the later ones. the Ari (the 16th Century). and Baal HaSulam (the 20th Century) – before we in our time begin discovering “The Book of Zohar”? The answer is that during the six thousand years of its evolution the world must go through a full period of correction.
the lights with a smaller Aviut dress first in the Partzuf. That is. Ruach already constitutes a movement). the second level of the screen. at this time. or the Mashiach. Hence. Therefore. Thus. whereas.e. which are the lowest lights. i. This is because it is impossible to correct the third and the fourth levels of desire before the Gmar Tikkun. Only the levels zero. only the lights of Nefesh can dress in the Partzuf.e. because there is an inverse relationship between lights and vessels. the year 0 according to the Gregorian calendar). The Mashiach is a force of Bina. therefore. the lights were very small. The rule is that the upper vessels grow first in each Partzuf. the first two thousand years are called the Tohu. it transforms its desires and makes them similar to the Creator’s. there can still be no correct interaction between the Kelim (vessels) and Orot (lights). The 273 . In other words. the second two millennia are called the Torah. and they were regarded as a head without a body.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R In the first two millennia (Rosh or HaBaD).. and two can be completely corrected. one. it provides Malchut with the screen necessary for correction. and Yechida inside the light of Neshama.. for the lights the opposite applies . as long as there are only the upper parts of the vessels. because when Malchut acquires the properties of Bina. In other words. During the second two thousand years (the Kelim of HaGaT) the light of Ruach ((Aviut Aleph) descends to the world. Haya. the light of Neshama descends. the level of Neshama is called the days of the Mashiach. It only has the light of Nefesh. The last two thousand years are the Kelim of NHY (the period of correction. i. this level is already a force that brings egoistic desires to correction. The lights that descend are basically Neshama. It is also called the light of the Torah (Torah is something that gives life. the HaBaD vessels. Hence.
The reason for this lies in the fact that before the Kelim de NHYM began to manifest in the Partzuf of the world. and then the point in heart appeared and gradually grew in all of us. The division into nations and sexes is purely relative. whatever corrections the different souls made. This order applies to each particular Partzuf (each soul) as well as to the entire universe. Yesod. was concealed from the world. meaning the light that pulls egoism up to the level of altruism. so that the light of Hassadim does shine openly. It does not matter in what souls or bodies it all happened. yours or mine. Long ago. for everything is mixed at the soul’s level. ultimately they become thoroughly interconnected. goes through all periods of its development. We can explain it in a different way: 274 . Unless the vessel acquires a screen.. we were in those periods when our body was developing. in the Kelim of NHYM (Netzah.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R descent of the Ohr Neshama to our world corrects Malchut. What does Baal HaSulam mean? The problem is that the light of Hochma cannot shine in the Kli unless the light of Hassadim enters it previously. The light of Neshama is alternatively called “Mashiach” (from the word Limshoch – to pull). So. Malchut). Every soul. and of Kabbalah in particular. no light can enter into the Kli. which complements the Ohr Yashar with the Ohr Hozer. Hod.e. All parts gradually and constantly intermix because after Adam’s soul had broken. all souls were mixed. The lights in the Kelim HaBaD and HaGaT to Chazeh of the Partzuf are concealed. the wisdom of “The Zohar” in general. i. A vessel is created as a desire to receive pleasure. This means that the luminescence of Hochma appears from Chazeh and below. meaning the last two thousand years.
prior to the appearance and development of the Kelim de NHY. the knowledge about the structure of the universe. meaning the last two thousand years. In our time. the history of humankind is a development of 275 . afterwards followed by the Orot (lights).I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R until the vessel (egoism) is lined inside with the altruistic intentions (of bestowal). Baal HaSulam says that “…before the Kelim de NHYM began to manifest in the Partzuf of the world. Only during the time of the Ari. Therefore.. the light of Hochma has no way of entering it.e. in the past they were called HaBaD and HaGaT. the wisdom of “The Zohar” in general. the Kelim develop and are corrected. when the time for completion of the Kelim from Chazeh and below arrived. They are still insufficiently egoistic to be corrected with the light of Neshama and to receive even a minimal amount of the Ohr Hochma. hence this special soul descended to our world. i. which corresponds to 5764 of the Jewish calendar. was concealed from the world. This means that we have less than 240 years left. Any descent of souls. In other words. and NHY. before the Sof Sof).. cannot be revealed to the souls. So in fact. The Kelim de NHY were sufficiently developed by his time. before this period (i. We are now living in the year 2004. Thanks to the holy soul of Rabbi Isaac Luria (the Ari for short) the radiance of the Supreme wisdom was revealed. when the light of Neshama descends to our world. Kabbalah cannot be revealed in our world. they are called NHY. But how can these altruistic intentions manifest? This can only happen during the last two millennia. including yours and mine. the light of wisdom. and of Kabbalah in particular. HaGaT. is predetermined by the previous general and individual development of the Kelim de NHY. Suppose that the Kelim of NHY were developing from the beginning of this period and onwards until the time of the Ari.e. in each of the three periods: HaBaD.
but before the lights entered them. from the moment “The Book of Zohar” appeared. After the Kelim manifested. as it were. Therefore. for it contains all wisdom of the previous generations. Since the Kelim de NHY had completed their development. the Ari introduced the method of correction to the world. the Ari appeared at once. in what society. But since the soul of the Ari appeared after the development of all the vessels of NHY. That is. He. the collection of his works (more than 20 volumes) constitutes a complete method of spiritual ascent. etc. only he could explain and elevate Kabbalah by expounding everything that is available to us today. and NHY. he was able to reveal the greatness of “The Book of Zohar” and the wisdom of Kabbalah and by so doing overshadow all of his predecessors. Practically. His soul is a collective image of all the Kelim of HaBaD. his soul could descend to our world and provide us with everything necessary for the correction of our souls (Kelim). how they dress into bodies. but because its wisdom was received by very exalted souls that lived at that time.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Partzuf from up down. Only the Ari could be the next in line. not because the Kelim of NHY were still undeveloped. No one could reach his level of attainment because these Kelim were not sufficiently developed in the 276 . None of the Kabbalists before the Ari could understand exactly how the spiritual correction takes place. HaGaT. spiritual correction. Baal HaSulam says that he would have been glad to hear that “The Book of Zohar” was written by one of the 48 prophets or by Moses. it concentrated in itself all the knowledge that had been received from the Kabbalists living before the destruction of the Temple. The book is considered so great. This determines what souls descend to this world. state or environment they find themselves. completed their development.
Tohu Tohu I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R 277 .
all humankind existed at the stage of development of the Kelim HaBaD. While reading the Ari’s compositions written down by Chaim Vital after his Teacher’s death. But these Kelim were not fully developed because the Ari. During the last one and a half years of his life he had a disciple by the name of Chaim Vital (Marhu). and NHY. The Ari lived only 36 years. Rather. The entire universe was included in these HaBaD. Think of how young these two men were! During the time he spent beside the Ari. and NHY. it so happened because there were objective. We shall later discuss why the Ari failed. profound reasons and not because he suddenly fell sick and died. It seems incredible to us. HaGaT. passed away in 1572 (5332 according to the Jewish calendar). In one of his letters. The world was not yet ready for the Ari’s revelations. Since his time and on the acquisition of a screen and reception of the light in these fully developed Kelim has begun. Chaim Vital learned everything that later allowed him to write more than 20 thick volumes. of all Ten Sefirot. while the Ari was 36. However.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R creation. forbidden to be disclosed to the world. Naturally. was used only by a chosen few. Baal HaSulam tells this story. he fell sick and died because there had been certain prerequisites in the development of these Kelim. He did not have enough time to pass to the world in action all that he wrote in his books. HaGaT. Before the Ari. His legacy. as we know. He never wrote any books by himself. Chaim was 28 at the time. Baal HaSulam continues: But these Kelim were not fully developed because the Ari did not have enough time to complete all the necessary corrections. it is impossible to imag278 .
During three hundred years these books were gradually coming out. a town in North Galilee). The Ari and Chaim Vital used to live in this ancient town in the north of Galilee. Like the Ari. believing that neither he nor his generation was sufficiently mature for this knowledge. starting from the end of the last century the spiritual ascent towards the End of correction began. Vital had learned from his great Teacher in only eighteen months. let alone be put down on paper. 279 . and today they are known to us as the collection of the Ari’s works.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R ine how this amount of information could be heard in a relatively short period. A few books were written by some of his disciples. In his will he insisted that they be put in his grave in Safed (Tzefat. Only years later his son. because during the time period between the Ari and Baal HaSulam the Kelim of NHY completed their development and were filled with all principal lights. and immerse ourselves in the same spring where the Ari used to have his ablutions. With the help of these two books. Baal HaSulam composed “The Study of the Ten Sefirot” and “The Sulam” as commentaries on the Ari’s books and “The Book of Zohar”. he described in a series of note-books. we can complete our correction. the Baal Shem Tov never penned anything by himself. My students and I often come to this place. which were buried with him after his death. There is still a place above the old cemetery where the Ari’s house used to stand. As this greatest Kabbalist of our time had predicted. Chaim Vital was unwilling to publish his writings. Whatever H. With the help of his books all subsequent generations will follow our path. Some of them were revealed at the time of the Baal Shem Tov (Besht). grandson and great-grandsons began to publish the Ari’s compositions. This great Kabbalist lived in the 17th Century in the Ukraine.
Tohu Tohu I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R 280 .
the Kelim of HaBaD (of Tohu) both of the world and the souls were introduced first to our world. the light in them was only Nefesh. Despite their tremendous elevation. Yesod. Now we can clearly see that the souls of the earlier generations were immeasurably higher than those of the later generations. they could not receive the full amount of light due to the lack of their own lower components. small egoism. Baal HaSulam says that just because the Kelim of HaGaT 281 . The rule for all Partzufim. albeit on the corporeal level. The souls that descended during the first two thousand years of our world’s existence were very sublime and pure. They lacked these two parts. Hochma. Man of that time needed very little. is that the purest vessels are corrected first. We know that there are Ten Sefirot: Keter. He was quite content with a shelter. the souls were still extremely pure. and Tifferet. then Hesed. Hod. They were pure because the Kelim of HaGaT are a replica of the Kelim of HaBaD. Pure means having a small Aviut. During the middle period. both pertaining to worlds and to souls. then Netzah. when the vessels of the worlds and of the souls that emerged were of the Kelim of HaGaT. Gevura. His egoism did not push him towards any serious undertakings. the souls of the first two millennia are incomparably higher than those that came after them. and security. the Kelim of HaGaT and NHYM.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R 63. Hesed is similar to Keter. a small amount of food. Gevura is like Tifferet. hence they are easier to correct Thus. therefore. Therefore. and Malchut. Exalted souls are not necessarily those that have profound attainments. and Bina. They can feel the spiritual worlds due to their purity.
Tohu Tohu I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R 282 .
HaBaD de NHY. in our generation. the Ari. As soon as these vessels began developing. 283 . the lights were still concealed in the worlds due to the lack of egoism in these Kelim. i. The preliminary light entered into the Kelim of NHY thanks to the work of the Kabbalists who lived in the period between the Ari and Baal HaSulam. The spiritual collapse that took place as a result of a transition from Bina to the vessels of reception (Kelim de Kabbalah) through Tifferet echoed in our world as the physical destruction of the two Temples.e. At the same time. HaGaT de NHY. What does the name “preliminary light” mean? If we divide the Kelim of NHY into Ten Sefirot. they still complement the Kelim-Partzufim of the common soul. Accordingly. both the first and then the second Temples were destroyed. all that is left for us to do is to realize this method of correction. yet the completion of the work is impossible without them because they are exactly the vessels to be corrected.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R resemble the Kelim of HaBaD very pure souls descended to our world before the destruction of the Temple. From our time and on NHY de NHY constitute the most egoistic Kelim. and Baal HaSulam.. in which the lowest souls in all creation that could not be corrected until now. and NHY de NHY. egoism is in the Kelim of NHY. and then followed by the development of the lights in these Kelim. Baal HaSulam says that although the Kelim of NHY are the worst and most egoistic. to use the power that was given to us by Rabbi Shimon. we will come out with three periods. For the most part. Their development starts after the destruction of the Temple. Therefore. The work can only be completed with their help. In our time this power is called Mashiach.
But the wisdom of Torah (all understanding. and Sof. whereas we are completely opposite to it in our desires. and it was clear to them that the earlier generations were much more important than the later ones pertaining to their vessels. This was a problem that pre-occupied the sages. This is because actions originate in the pure Kelim. Therefore. Only thanks to us will the light enter into this world. only with the completion of preparation of these lowest souls could the highest lights be revealed. Baal HaSulam writes: Now that the vessels of NHY are completed (as well as the lights in them) and the vessels of Rosh. Toch. which were considerably closer to the properties of the light.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Hence. the general volume of egoism is contained in the Sof of the Partzuf Partzuf. in our Kelim. the complete lights of NaRaN (Nefesh. Haya. Toch. and not prior to this. the lower the Kelim of NHY are. due to the increased general volume of the Kli. inside our consciousness. So it turns out that the correction takes place with the help of the last generations. They were much closer to the light. 64. Since the Kelim and Orot are inversely related. and Sof of the Partzuf (all the Kelim in our world) can draw on the full measure of the necessary lights in Rosh. properties. Ruach. attainment and depth of sensations) is manifested in the later generations a lot more. and 284 . and desires. As is well known. 65. and sublime in comparison with ours. awful egoism because by this we complete the structure of the Partzuf of the entire creation. The revelation of light occurs inside the soul. We will attract it with our most evil. the more the lights of Neshama. pure. Their vessels were very small. Neshama with Haya and Yechida inside them). whereas the secrets of Torah stem from the light of the Sefirot.
This will mark the complete and final deliverance from egoism. egoistic. That is why our time is so tough. The Kelim that manifest now are empty. and entrance into eternity and perfection. It is also called the light of Mashiach because this light of Bina corrects the properties of Malchut. but devoid of light. It will pass through our souls to the rest of the world. is waiting to be filled with light. and NHY will begin to receive the light of Neshama. A fearful state of dismay. We are now standing at a threshold of reception of light in the empty Kelim. because only this way all our empty Kelim can be filled with light. We are now in a very critical state. the creation will bond with the Creator. Where is this world heading? Why does it exist? Why are we here? This is our condition today. Our generation is therefore able to draw tremendous light to this world. HaBaD. which approach their completion. By feeling the influence of the light of Bina and the light of Mashiach. when all the Kelim are ready. but do not possess a screen. We are left with only one choice: to begin working with a screen. merging of Bina and Malchut.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Yechida enter into them. We are now in the Kelim of NHY. the works of the Ari with Baal HaSulam’s commentaries provided specially for our souls. we shall instantly begin drawing the Upper light. disorientation. HaGaT. If we take “The Book of Zohar”. If we acquire a screen. we will be able to attract the Upper Light. cruel and barbaric in its essence. and confusion is growing steadily each day. enormous and empty. our egoism. In other words. All correction is based on this combination. 285 .
This graph can show all possible nuances and minute details. rather. to the birth of the Earth and people on its surface. Our world. because the body will lose its significance. This is a part of the socalled historical Kabbalah or. Everything is predetermined on this axis of human evolution.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R By knowing the roots of our past. when he was sufficiently mature in his animal properties. we begin our count up to the Final ultimate state. when the whole world will reach a state called “the End of Correction”. to the appearance of the spiritual point in man’s heart. Previously. the bodies were developing. We only need to receive from all this an answer to the age-old question about the meaning of our life. We can see many things on the axis of time. the world will continue its existence as it did before the zero point. our universe. understand the causes of historic events. We can see in it the birth and predestination of any historical personality. How does the correction take place beginning from 1995 and on according to what Baal HaSulam predicted? We are now living in 2004 or. starting with the point from which our universe emerged. Why should I know how this complex system is functioning outside me? Of course it is interesting information. of the Kabbalistic history. Thus he finds the answer and reaches the Creator’s level. will not change in any way. He is first given the vessels. to the formation of the solar system. then is allowed to acquire a screen. Taking the point in the heart as a zero point. in 5764. catastrophes. man attains the universe. according to the spiritual chronology. however. but then what next? Kabbalah is based on one single question: Why do I exist? By searching for the answer to this question. we can graphically depict the history of our world. How should we proceed? 286 . whereas by the end of the six-thousand-year period the souls will continue evolving. After that. and wars. and finally is filled with the light.
Tohu Tohu I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R 287 .
The Kelim HaBaD. and Sof. if we are destined to make corrections. That is. the method of spiritual correction. the combination of Israel and the nations of the world are similar to the combination of Galgalta Eynaim and AHP. Let us see what the difference between them is. of Rosh. or. and a precise predestination. Sof Israel refers to the inner part of the world. and an outer aspect consisting of those who are not involved in spiritual work. the Kelim HaBaD and HaGaT will be called Israel. but speak of spiritual conformity. naturally we should do it on ourselves. Toch. role. Please do not misinterpret these names. HaGaT. What does it mean? It should be done by people living in today’s world. and NHY are further divided from up downwards into the inner and outer parts. If we take this particular Partzuf. 288 . and the KePartzuf lim of NHY will be called the nations of the world. In this case. 66. they do not concern nationalities. They consist of Ten Sefirot. The nations will be left without the light unless Israel passes them Kabbalah. there is an inner aspect that consists of those people who are committed to serve the Creator. Likewise. hence. whereas other nations are considered its outer part. we see that without engaging the nations of the world in this work Israel will be utterly unable to receive the Upper light. Now you must know that everything has an inner aspect and an outer aspect. alternatively. Within Israel itself. each of us has his or her own mission.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Baal HaSulam says.
When a man of Israel elevates his inner part over his outer part. which consists of those who are destructive and coarse.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R amongst the nations of the world there is an inner part called the righteous of the world and an outer part. What is the essence of this division? It began from the time of Abraham who received the very first point in the heart and developed it. The outer part consists of people who only perform actions without comprehending their inner meaning. the outer part (the coarse and harmful elements in the nations of the world) accordingly rises over the inner part (the righteous among the nations of the world) and calamities and wars befall the world. The inner part is comprised of those who are privileged to achieve spiritual attainment. 289 . there is a division into GE and AHP. Even amongst those of Israel who work for the Creator. Each of these parts has its own GE and AHP. GE and AHP in GE correspond to those who work for the Creator within Israel and those who are not. spiritual one. the point in heart) and the outer part referred to as the nations of the world. Both the nations of the world and Israel are also divided into these parts. or the body. But if the opposite occurs. meaning that he dedicates most of his time and effort to the enhancement of his innermost part as regards his outer part. GE and AHP in the nations of the world are the righteous people and those who cause damage. Similarly every individual person has the inner part (GE. In other words. then by this he raises his spiritual aspect of the material one. the body. and a man of Israel elevates his outer material part over the inner. there is an inner part and an outer part. and to grasp the secrets of the creation through attaining the Upper light.
according to both their measure and quality. and vice versa. through suffering. truly absolute correction is when not only I am corrected through the world. one soul called Adam. We are all dependent on one another. whatever happens in the parts happens in the whole. but through me the whole world reaches the same state. This is how we can understand what is written in “The Zohar” that through the study of this book and the practice of the true wisdom.. which emerged from the zero point. We all originate from this point.e. Baal HaSulam writes: So certainly. Torah. i. may lower or elevate the whole system. because the whole is only revealed through the manifestation of its individual parts. and consequently the destructive elements within the nations of the world prevail over Israel. HaGaT. the influence of every soul. can cause an elevation or degradation of the whole world. one closed system. from which all the Kelim of HaBaD. Everything that occurs in the whole occurs in its parts as well. Furthermore. and Mashiach – began to emerge. no one will be able to achieve full individual correction. and NHY – Tohu. all the Kelim of HaBaD. 290 . The complete. draw the Upper light to the world. This is an unalterable law that the whole and its parts are as identical as two drops of water. through his or her deeds. Do not be surprised by the fact that even an individual person. prevail over the inner part. the souls of Israel. What is Adam? Adam is the spiritual point in man’s heart. Kabbalah correlates the notion of the zero point with the creation of Adam.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R These actions raise the outer part of the nations of the world. everything facilitates the return to a state where Galgalta Eynaim. 68. each one of us. We are all parts of one universe. and NHY. HaGaT. Thus. Until all of us have their vessels corrected.
Furthermore. Then. the righteous ones. the outer part of Israel. which leads the world to wars. the destructive elements. This brings destruction and death. all opponents of Kabbalah. prevail over Kabbalists. and aspire for Him. and suffering. A question may arise: What could studying “The Zohar” have to do with redeeming Israel from among the nations of the world? How can it possibly help to redeem the nations of the world and Israel from their egoism? 69. a redistribution of forces takes place. and lose contact with the nations’ aspiration for spirituality. hostilities. this leads to strengthening of the outer part of the nations over their inner part. when Israel and the nations of the world begin to realize the importance of spirituality. Therefore we can see that the redemption of Israel and the rest of the world. has an inner and an outer aspect. If man concentrates his efforts on the inner part of the Torah. like the world itself. Other coarser parts gradually subside. wholly depends on the learning of “The Book of Zohar” and 291 . consequently. There are two levels in the Torah. so that the worst and most destructive of them prevail over their inner part. fall off.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R we can put an end to our state of exile and achieve a complete redemption. rises above the righteous person. catastrophes. the outer part of the nations. in the same degree he elevates the inner part in the world. As a result. But if those of Israel who must study Kabbalah and then pass it on to the nations of the world diminish the importance of the inner part of the Torah in comparison with the mechanical observance of the precepts. From what we have read. namely on Kabbalah. it is clear that the Torah. such as our generation has been a witness to. see the greatness of the Creator.
“The Zohar” states: whatever you may be doing should only be for the sake of achieving equivalence of form with the Him. The opposite is true also. 70. Why is this so? It is because instead of elevating their soul. without Upper understanding and knowledge. war. they focus more on the body. since this is not what they are supposed to do. Woe to them. grasp the meaning of man’s actions and attain the Creator. we rise to the level of eternity and perfection. They do not wish to contemplate the secrets of the Torah. Naturally. Your heart is empty and you lack wisdom and the understanding of the Creator”. Only Kabbalah can guide and correct us. whereas all other teachings and even the outer part of the Torah increases egoism. pillage. violence. It is said about this generation that the Upper spirit (light) disappears and never returns. This is what “The Book of Zohar” says: “Come and wake up for the sake of spiritual ascent.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R Kabbalah. 292 . In other words. resourceful. Woe to those people who cause the light of Mashiach to depart and leave the world by making the Torah dry and tasteless. They confine themselves to the practical aspects of the Torah and make no effort to try and understand the wisdom of Kabbalah. who by their actions cause poverty. craving for pleasures of this world. All the afflictions that have befallen Israel and the world are due to their neglecting the study of Kabbalah (as compared to the external rituals) and treating it as something superfluous. they push themselves and the whole world to a catastrophe. The nations with a higher level of egoism are greedy. This spirit disappears and stops shining in the world. killings and destructions in the world. This is the spirit of Mashiach which is necessary for redeeming all people from suffering. This way. although successful in their undertakings.
This is because they do not fulfill their mission. 293 . if the generations fall. and pay little or no attention to it. is responsible for the state of the world. the famous cradle of Kabbalistic learning in Kotzk. both good and bad. It therefore turns out that Israel. the best are first to perish. 71. Baal HaSulam says that 200-300 years ago there were many Kabbalists in Russia and the Ukraine (the Baal Shem Tov with his disciples. All destructive elements raise their heads and wish to destroy the world. meaning that common believers are openly hostile to Kabbalists and are convinced that they are engaged in something totally wrong. After our grave sins. and NHY. as we have explained. as he states. not the words of Baal HaSulam or one of the modern Kabbalists. only a small number remained in this country. the outer part of the nations of the world prevails over the inner. The general governance is designed in such a way that the inner part could influence the outer one. HaGaT. whose mission is to bring the Kabbalistic method to the nations. we have born witness to the sufferings predicted by “The Zohar”. Thus. Of all the most prominent Kabbalists who used to live in Russia. These words. The outer part of Israel influences the inner part. Accordingly. all good and bad in the world is predetermined by the presence or absence of the Upper light in it proportionate to the Kelim that have already developed in the world – HaBaD. while the outer part would in turn exert pressure and adjust the inner part. and primarily the people of Israel.I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R This is a quotation from “The Book of Zohar”. This fault is typical all over the world. The finest of us perished. treating its inner part as something unnecessary. concern those people who study the outer part of Torah. All of them have disappeared because. Poland). for “the righteous are the first to suffer”.
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R
It is now incumbent upon us, this tiny remnant, to right the
wrong (i.e., the mechanical observance of precepts and the
indifference to Kabbalah).
If every one of us takes upon himself with all his soul and mind to
enhance the inner aspect of the Torah and to give it its rightful place,
then each of us will strengthen the inner part within him and in the
Then our inner part and the inner part of the whole world, meaning the righteous of the nations of the world, those that aspire to the
Creator (and wish to justify His actions) unite in such a joint effort that
they will correct the world. A correct pyramid construction will be created in which the pure vessels will be at the top, and the coarse vessels
will be at the bottom, so that we will draw on ourselves the Upper light.
In this way, the Upper light will be manifested in all the Kelim of
HaBaD, HaGaT, and NHY, in all souls. Through us it will reach the rest
of the world’s vessels. Nature on all of its levels, the still, vegetative, animal, and naturally, human, will be good and prosperous. It will receive
the spiritual fulfillment that it needs, rise to the level of the Creator, and
we will achieve the Purpose of creation.
It depends on how quickly we will accomplish this task in the 236
years left until the end of the 6000-year period starting from where we
are now. Instead of it being a path of development of the Kelim, it will
turn into a path of compulsion by the absence of light, i.e., a path of
horrific suffering. The Holocaust and the two world wars may be just a
Baal HaSulam speaks of the third and the fourth world wars.
Already in 1934-1936 he was writing about a neutron bomb. One can
find it in his manuscripts. He gives many things different names, but
actually he writes about the destructive forces that will be in man’s
hands in the future. It is in our power to prevent all this; it depends
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R
solely on us.
We know that the world consists of four stages of development
according to the four phases of the descending light. Correspondingly,
there are four destructions and four exiles. Our exile was the last. It has
ended physically, and it must end spiritually. The two world wars may
be complemented by two more, unless we change. We are not obliged to
drink the cup of woe to the end; it is in our power to prevent these two
world wars that are looming ahead of us.
So everything depends on us, on the first generation that begins its
correction under the influence of the light. All the vessels are completed,
we only need to acquire the Masach (screen) and start transferring the
light to this world. Thanks to that, the world will painlessly achieve its
predestination. We have to set it as our goal, for, as we know, the general
and the particular are completely equal, so it turns out that each one of
us determines the state of the whole world.
I hope that we will be worthy of our great teachers, and capable
of bringing their legacy to the world. We have every opportunity to become the Creator’s special messengers and fulfill our mission. We are
already doing it, i.e., the Creator has already entitled us to accomplish
this task. Now the question is whether we are ready to take it upon
ourselves or not.
I believe that we will succeed in conducting the light to the world,
as befitting the heirs of great Kabbalists. Imagine what spiritual reward is
prepared for all of us who take part in this noble mission.
Baal HaSulam has written four introductions to “The Zohar”:
“The Introduction to the Book of Zohar”, “The Preface to the Book of
Zohar”, “The Preamble to the Commentary of Sulam”, and “The Preamble to the Wisdom of Kabbalah”. They give us an adequate understanding of the book, so that by tuning ourselves to it, we can draw the Upper,
Divine Light, the force, which ushers us into the spiritual realm.
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R
We learn that the light is emanated from the Creator. This light
is referred to as a “zero (or root) phase”, which is afterwards called Keter
pertaining to the Sefirot. The zero phase builds for itself a Kli, phase one,
the will to receive, or Hochma. By acting inside the Kli, the light creates a
sensation of its source in it, i.e., of the zero phase.
Therefore, first, the light creates a desire in the zero phase, and
then gives it a sensation of itself. Since the desire wants to feel pleasure,
enter into it, connect with it, it reveals the root, the source of this desire,
namely the zero phase.
Thus, sub-phases emerge within phase one. A desire is created and
feels pleasure. Consequently, by feeling pleasure, the desire longs to enter it, “cling” to it. While
being “inside”, it begins to
feel the source of pleasure,
and, naturally, this sensation creates in it a new desire to become similar to
This similarity to the
source of pleasure happens
to be a transition from
phase one to phase two.
Phase two wishes to become similar to the source, but this decision is
made at the end of phase one. Thus, it gives birth to a new desire – to
bestow. This second phase is called Bina.
Bina in its turn consists of several sub-phases. In this way, the light’s
influence inside the desire creates in it a series of consecutive transformations.
Here I see fit to emphasize that the Upper Light affecting us is able
to do with us absolutely everything: make us either similar or opposite to
I N T RO D U C T I O N T O T H E B O O K O F Z O H A R
itself. We should only expose ourselves to its maximum influence, try to
connect with it as closely as we possibly can. All of this can be achieved
by studying “The Book of Zohar”, provided we are correctly tuned to the
Therefore, all the aforementioned introductions are of great significance to us. Baal HaSulam wishes to expose us to the light that is
emanated during the study of “The Zohar”, to help us penetrate more
deeply into this light with the intention of merging with its source. This
depends on us.
While the descending development of the four phases of the light
and of all the Partzufim in the worlds is a result of the Creator’s actions,
we must climb the spiritual ladder on our own by exposing ourselves to
the influence of the Ohr Makif
Makif. Hence, we should study the introductions to “The Book of Zohar”, which were specially written for this sole
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